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Legal observers reading tea leaves with U.S. Supreme Court decision on voting districts in Wisconsin

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the voting districts in Wisconsin isn't expected until June.

In the meantime, legal observers are reading the tea leaves when it comes to the justice who many think will cast the deciding vote.

Justice Anthony Kennedy asked many questions of Wisconsin who defended the maps, while he asked no questions of the plaintiffs who claim they are unconstitutional because they were drawn up along partisan lines.

"It's fascinating. A lot of intrigue," says elections lawyer Elizabeth Shimek of  Maistelman and Associates. "He's 81 and the rumor is he plans to retire. A lot of people say his vote will set his legacy on the court."

This is considered a test case that will impact other states because technology is at the heart of the argument.

"This technology grew out of map making software and in our data and tracking about how people vote," explains Shimek. "Coming out of these advances over the past 10 years, these maps were drawn out of this new technology. The plaintiff claims this technology packed democrats into small districts and spread out others which favored republicans."

Most expect a decision some time next June.

The high court usually hears arguments now through winter with decisions being issued in spring and summer.

"In terms of getting new maps in Wisconsin? That's a big question," acknowledge Shimek. "If they're ruled unconstitutional, we'd have to have new maps before the next election."

Redistricting Maps Potential Impact extended interview on CBS 58 from CBS 58 News on Vimeo.



 

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