Assembly Democrats are withdrawing from a lawsuit over Wisconsin’s election maps, leaving it to a group of liberal voters to continue the high-profile litigation. By pulling out of the case, the Assembly Democrats are avoiding turning over documents and answering detailed questions to back up their claims that election maps drawn to favor Republicans have hurt their ability to recruit candidates and raise money. Assembly Democrats are getting out of the lawsuit because they believe others are well-equipped to handle the case and they do not have the money to continue the costly litigation, their lead attorney, Lester Pines, said.
States must draw new legislative and congressional districts every 10 years to account for population changes. Republicans controlled all of state government in 2011 and drew maps that gave them an advantage in elections.
The legal fight over them began even before the maps were made public. A lawsuit filed in 2015 made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices last year concluded the Democratic voters behind it did not have legal standing to bring the case.
They added more voters from around the state to try to establish standing. At the same time, the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee — the political organization geared toward electing Democrats to the lower house of the Legislature — filed a separate lawsuit in another effort to secure standing.