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Rep. Gary Hebl’s statement on Republican rejection of the federal panel action on redistricting

MADISON: Republicans were offered the opportunity by the federal court to revisit and correct the numerous legal problems that had been identified in their redistricting legislation and rejected it late today. Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie), the Assembly ranking member on the Committee on Judiciary and Ethics, as well as the Chair of the Special Committee on Judicial Discipline and Recusal issued the following statement:

“The action taken today by a federal three-judge panel on redistricting maps was unprecedented and stunning. Their critique of the partisan, secretive process Republicans used to draw the maps was harsh and built on its description last week when the judges described the process that shut out the public as ‘all but shameful.’

“The state would not be in the position we are in now if redistricting had been done right in the first place. Instead, it was a ridiculously partisan, extreme power grab by Republicans.

“The initial process was rushed, highly partisan and not open to the public. Recently it was revealed that virtually all Republican legislators signed an unprecedented secrecy oath to hide their actions from their constituents.

“Today the Republicans showed disrespect to the federal judges who offered them the opportunity to do this the right way, the Wisconsin way. It could have been done in a manner that respected Wisconsin values of openness, public inclusion and transparency.

“But instead of taking the federal judges up on their reasonable offer and doing what is right by the people of Wisconsin, they want to continue fighting for the maps that their own attorney called ‘wildly gerrymandered.’ This will continue to cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

“The people of Wisconsin expect us to work together. And that is what they deserve. Unfortunately, Republicans are not willing to do the right thing.”