The National Redistricting Foundation, affiliated with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, filed a lawsuit supporting plaintiffs in Wisconsin against Gov. Scott Walker for his refusal to hold special elections for legislative seats.
Two officeholders, one in state Assembly District 42 and one in state Senate District 1, left their positions on Dec. 29, 2017.
Wisconsin state law calls for the governor to hold elections to fill the seats “as promptly as possible,” Walker has repeatedly stated that he has no intention to do so, according to the complaint.
The petition was filed in support of plaintiffs residing in state Assembly District 42 and state Senate District 1.
“Gov. Scott Walker’s refusal to hold special elections is an affront to representative democracy,” Eric H. Holder Jr., chairman of NDRC and former U.S. attorney general, said in a news release. “Forcing citizens to go more than a year without representation in the General Assembly is a plain violation of their rights and we’re hopeful the court will act quickly to order the governor to hold elections.”
Some background: On Dec. 29, 2017, state Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. Frank Lasee both resigned from the Legislature to take positions in Walker’s administration.
According to state law, the governor has a legal duty to call elections to fill vacancies “as promptly as possible.”
If the special elections are not called, the plaintiffs will not have representation in the Wisconsin General Assembly until Jan. 7, 2019, meaning they will remain unpresented for more than a year.
The lawsuit was filed in the Wisconsin Circuit Court in Dane County.