MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A panel of federal judges is allowing the Wisconsin Assembly to intervene in the lawsuit over the constitutionality of political boundaries drawn by Republicans.
The judges said in the order issued late Tuesday that the recent election of Democrat Josh Kaul as Wisconsin attorney general “introduced potential uncertainty” into the defense strategy.
Kaul said before the election that he would defend the maps, but allowing the Assembly to intervene in the case gives it the chance to speak for itself.
Republicans drew the maps in 2011. Democratic voters brought a lawsuit in 2015 arguing that the state Assembly and Senate district maps were gerrymandered to give Republicans an unfair advantage.
The U.S. Supreme Court this summer sent the case back to federal court in the state, saying the plaintiffs didn’t have legal standing to bring it.
A second trial is scheduled for April.
In the midterm elections, all eight congressional seats were up for election in Wisconsin. Democrats received 1,306,476 votes while Republicans got 1,170,718.
The results, Democrats got three out of eight seats. Mathematically, they cast 52.74 percent of the vote but the party took only 37.5 percent of the seats.
The same happened in the Senate, where the Democratic Assembly received 1.3 million votes, while Republicans got 1.1 million.
But, Republicans took 63 seats to the Democrats’ 36. Despite Democrats getting 54 percent of the vote, they earned only 36 percent of the seats.