Attorney argues redistricting plan clearly hurts Democrats

MADISON — An attorney for a group of voters is telling a panel of judges that legislative district boundaries Republicans drew up clearly discriminate against Democrats.

The voters have filed a federal lawsuit alleging Assembly district boundaries Republicans created in 2011 are an unconstitutional attempt to consolidate power. A three-judge panel began a bench trial in Madison on Tuesday.

Nicholas Stephanopoulos, an attorney for the voters, said during opening statements the Republicans' plan was a deliberate, severe and unjustifiable effort to marginalize Democrats. He said the plan is designed to maintain Republican control for years.

Assistant Attorney General Brian Keenan countered in his opening statement that gerrymandering traditionally means strangely shaped districts and the Republican-drawn boundaries aren't oddly shaped. He says partisanship is part of redistricting.