Wisconsin’s redistricting case is headed back to a three-judge panel — but it will consist of a slightly different set of judges.
Barbara Crabb, a U.S. district judge for Wisconsin’s western district, on Thursday withdrew from the case without explanation. She will be replaced by U.S. District Judge James Peterson, a colleague in her district who was randomly assigned to the case.
The case centers on whether legislative maps that GOP lawmakers drew in 2011 are so beneficial to Republicans that they violate the voting rights of Democrats.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June determined the Democrats didn’t have legal standingto bring their lawsuit, but found they may be able to establish standing and continue the case. The justices returned it to the three-judge panel for further proceedings.
I have asked the reporter for clarification on whether this was really a random draw replacement. As I understand it, it is the chief judge who gets to pick the composition of the three-judge panel.
UPDATE: It was in fact a random draw, as the reporter, Patrick Marley, explains.