A state appeals court is backing a judge’s ruling last April that legislative leaders broke the law when they hired private taxpayer-funded attorneys to represent them in expected legal challenges over redistricting. The Republican leaders wanted Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke to put his ruling on hold while they appealed. The court said Wednesday Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu didn’t establish why a stay of the ruling was necessary. The million-dollar contract with two law firms will be voided.

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