A panel of federal judges late Friday temporarily blocked a lower court’s order that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos sit for a deposition in Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case.
In their brief order, the judges wrote that they were suspending the requirement that Vos testify and turn over documents until they further study the case. Vos had been scheduled to testify on May 29.
The lawsuit by Democratic voters challenges the election maps Vos and other Republican lawmakers drew in 2011 that have helped them keep large majorities in the years since then.
Vos, of Rochester, fought the deposition request, arguing he didn’t have to sit for one because lawmakers are generally immune from civil lawsuits during the legislative session.
The initial panel of federal judges hearing the case determined in a 2-1 ruling this month that Vos had to sit for a deposition because “this is an exceptional case that raises important federal questions about the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s plan for electing members of the Assembly.”
Vos asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to review that ruling and a three-judge panel there issued Friday’s order temporarily blocking the deposition. Those judges did not indicate when they would issue a final ruling.
Update: There is a serious question whether the 7th circuit has jurisdiction to issue such an order in an interlocutory mandamus request (or whether only the Supreme Court can do so).