Given the limited issues in play, a narrow decision that addresses relevant concerns is the prudent course of action.
Wisconsin lawmakers will have to redraw voting maps for two districts in Milwaukee because their first attempt unfairly weakened Latino voting power, a panel of federal judges ruled Thursday.
The maps changed voting boundaries throughout the state, were drawn by the GOP-controlled Legislature last year and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in August.
The three-judge panel found that the maps unfairly hurt Latino voters in two south side Milwaukee districts by diluting their voting power.
The panel ruled that because Assembly Districts 8 and 9 in Milwaukee violate the Voting Rights Act, the state Government Accountability Board cannot implement the new maps in their current form.
But the court upheld all of the other legislative and congressional districts that Republicans drew.
That means that, unless there is another counter ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the maps — which favor Republican candidates — will be in place for the next decade. They are set to go into effect in November.
Save for the GOP procedure steeped in paranoia (like asking legislators to sign agreements not to discuss a matter of public business), the process wasn't any more private or crooked than it's been in the past.
Should the legislature fail to comply with the court's ruling, I would expect the federal court to do not much other than reapportion the 8th and 9th Assembly Districts.