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GOP lawmakers claim they can't legally redraw resdistricting maps


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Republican lawmakers say they legally cannot redraw the new state legislative and congressional districts they approved last summer.

A trial on those maps was supposed to begin Tuesday in federal court in Milwaukee. But a three-judge panel asked the GOP to redraw the boundaries to consider objections from the plaintiffs -- two groups of Democrats and Hispanics.

State attorney Dan Kelly told the judges late Tuesday the GOP was willing to consider a re-draft -- but a State Supreme Court opinion from 1954 prevents it.

The plaintiffs disagreed. One of them, former state Senate Democratic leader Judy Robson, said the Republicans would have to admit they were wrong -- and, "given their arrogance," they would never admit that.

Meanwhile, it's not clear when testimony in the trial will begin.

The panel says it will rule Wednesday on a request from legislative attorney Jim Troupis to limit his testimony on the grounds of attorney-client privilege.

The plaintiffs have subpoenaed Troupis to explain how the new district lines were drawn in Milwaukee's Hispanic areas. A Hispanic group accused the GOP of trying to dilute the Latinos' influence in the Legislature.