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Groups that lost challenge to GOP redistricting plan will keep paying own legal bills

by
Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Two groups that lost a challenge to the Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting plan will have to pay their own way to continue their legal battle – at least for now.

A three-judge federal court panel ruled Tuesday morning that there’s not enough evidence yet to make anyone but the plaintiffs pay their attorneys for their current investigation.

The panel ruled last year that virtually all of the GOP’s new state Assembly and Senate districts were constitutional.

But over a dozen Democrats and a Milwaukee Hispanic group still contend that Republicans hid damaging evidence by deleting computer files. And they want either the taxpayers, or the Legislature’s law firm to foot the bill, as the plaintiffs examine 3 large computers that the GOP used to help redraw the maps.

The court panel agreed that many documents were deleted after the computers were handed over. But the two groups have not proven that the GOP showed bad faith in getting rid of certain evidence, and there’s no proof yet that any relevant documents in the case have been withheld improperly.

The two plaintiffs have been getting depositions from the legislative aides who drew up the maps.

The court expects to get a final report on plaintiffs’ current investigation by May 10th.

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