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Judge Blocks Lawmakers from Hiring Outside Lawyers for Redistricting

Shawn Johnson, WPR  | Published on 4/29/2021


A judge has voided contracts Wisconsin Republican lawmakers reached with two private law firms to handle redistricting, ruling the state Legislature can't hire its own attorneys until there's a lawsuit pending.

Republicans finalized the contracts months ago in advance of the redistricting process that's slated to take place this year. That process, which will help determine which party controls the Legislature for the next decade, is all but certain to lead to lawsuits.

But in a decision handed down Thursday[1], Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke ruled that because there's no lawsuit pending now, it's premature for the Legislature to hire attorneys.