October 27, 2011

Federal court reminds WISGOP who's in charge

"It's just plain confusing," says lawmaker of law he made.
Excerpted from last Friday's federal court order in Baldus v. Brennan,* a challenge to the constitutionality of Wisconsin Republicans' proposed electoral redistricting plan, a nakedly partisan scheme to cement Republican majorities in the State legislature for decades hence:
The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution makes the laws of the United States superior to the laws of the individual states. U.S. CONST. ART. VI, cl. 2. As a result, Wisconsin simply cannot strip litigants of their ability to seek redress under federal statutes, in federal courts, for violations of the federal Constitution. To do so would hold the laws of the state as superior to the laws of the United States.
Now the WISGOP wants to rejigger its redistricting bill because its concluding sentence, "This act first applies ... with the 2012 general election," has proven an inconvenience to the WISGOP's ability to defend its functionaries against impending recall elections, which would most likely take place before the 2012 general election next November.

But by attempting to make the act's application immediate, the WISGOP runs afoul of the federal court's admonition, and the WISGOP's success in doing so would have the effect of interfering with the litigants' ability to seek the aforementioned redress. Or that's what the petition for federal injunction should argue, if the WISGOP makes its contemplated move.

* Brennan et al are members of the State Government Accountability Board, but its case is being represented by the Department of Justice.

(And don't miss the warning footnote at the bottom of page 7.)

1 comment:

Mike said...

As an aside to Ron Johnson, this is an example of why, in general, non-lawyers make horrible law makers.