Democrats Not Responsible For GOP Attorney Fees In Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

Aug 23, 2019

A panel of federal judges ruled that Democrats do not have to pay attorneys' fees and costs incurred by the GOP in a Wisconsin gerrymandering lawsuit. Republican legislators and state officials had requested to be reimbursed for the costs of defending the redrawn maps.

Brought by Democratic voters, the lawsuit arguing Wisconsin Republicans unconstitutionally drew the maps, Gill v. Whitford, was dismissed in July. The case died after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that claims of partisan gerrymandering are beyond the reach of federal courts.

The three federal judges wrote Thursday that "justice is best served" by having each side of the lawsuit pay for their own costs. They noted that the case was brought in "good faith."

The Republican defense of the maps has cost taxpayers more than $3.7 million since 2011. That was the year Republicans took control of both the Senate and Assembly and reconfigured political boundaries in Wisconsin.

The maps are up to be redrawn after the 2020 census.