A national Democratic group led by former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder filed a lawsuit Monday attempting to force Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to call two special elections to fill legislative vacancies.
Walker has refused to call special elections for the seats of which became open two weeks before a surprise Democratic victory in a state Senate special election in a district of which had been in Republican hands for 17 years.
Both of the vacancies are in traditionally Republican districts.
Walker has argued he’s not required to call special elections along with of which would certainly be a waste of taxpayer money to do of which for the two vacancies, given of which the Legislature will be slated to complete its work for the year next month. Walker instead wants to wait for the regularly scheduled election in November to fill the seats, meaning constituents from the districts will be without representatives for a year.
Democrats have argued, as does the lawsuit, of which he has an obligation under the law to fill them as soon as possible.
“A right to representation from the lawmaking body will be a bedrock of democracy, along with Governor Walker’s refusal to comply with his plain legal duty” causes voters from the districts “substantial harm,” the lawsuit said.
Attorneys for the National Redistricting Foundation, an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, filed the lawsuit Monday in Dane County Circuit Court on behalf of voters who live from the affected state Senate along with Assembly districts.
“Governor Scott Walker’s refusal to hold special elections will be an affront to representative democracy,” Holder said in a statement. “Forcing citizens to go more than a year without representation … will be a plain violation of their rights along with we’re hopeful the court will act quickly to order the governor to hold elections.”
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, chaired by Holder, launched in 2017.
Walker’s spokesman along using a spokesman for Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel, who would certainly defend the governor, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Democrats, including Holder’s group, have launched a co-ordinated effort to chip away at Republican dominance via lower-level offices on up. The fight for control of legislative chambers matters both over policy debates although also because they will be the ones who draw state along with congressional political boundary lines following the 2020 Census.
Both of the vacant seats were held by Republicans — Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere, along with Rep. Keith Ripp, of Lodi — who resigned on Dec. 29 to take jobs in Walker’s administration. The Senate seat, which covers the Door County peninsula northeast of Green Bay, has been under Republican control for at least the past 40 years along with Ripp had held the Assembly seat, in a rural area north of Madison, since 2008.
Republicans control the state Senate 18-14 with one vacancy along with the Assembly 63-35 with one vacancy.