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Judges order GOP to release emails in redistricting process


MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - A federal court panel ordered Republican state legislators today to hand over 84 documents to the plaintiffs who are trying to strike down the GOP’s redistricting plan. Judges Diane Wood, J.P. Stadtmueller, and Robert Dow scolded the Republicans for a quote, “shameful attempt to hide the redistricting process from public scrutiny.” The judges accused the lawmakers of trying to hide political strategy, while claiming an attorney-client privilege. The documents in question are primarily e-mails between legislative staffers and the attorneys who helped the GOP draft its new Senate and Assembly districts. The judges said the messages primarily dealt with the support by certain Hispanic groups for re-districting – as well as floor debates about a pending bill. The release order and the judges’ comments came five days before a trial is scheduled to begin in federal court in Milwaukee on the GOP’s new maps. The plaintiffs are Democrats and a Hispanic group who claim that the maps illegally under-represent Hispanics in the Legislature, and try to assure that Republicans are able to keep their power at the Capitol for as much of the next decade as possible. But Republicans say the maps are only designed to reflect population changes reflected in the 2010 Census.