Patrick Rodenbush

The Lawsuit Supports Plaintiffs in Two Districts Where Governor Walker is Refusing to Hold Special Elections 

Today, the National Redistricting Foundation (NRF), a 501(c)3 affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), filed a lawsuit supporting plaintiffs in Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker for his refusal to hold two special elections for seats in the Wisconsin General Assembly. Two previous officeholders, one in State Assembly District 42 and one in State Senate District 1, left their positions on December 29, 2017. Although Wisconsin state law calls for the governor to hold elections to fill the seats “as promptly as possible,” Governor Walker has repeatedly stated that he has no intention to do so.

“Governor Scott Walker’s refusal to hold special elections is an affront to representative democracy,” said Eric H. Holder, Jr, Chairman of NDRC and the 82nd Attorney General of the United States. “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.”

The petition was filed in support of plaintiffs residing in State Assembly District 42 and State Senate District 1. On December 29, 2017, Representative Keith Ripp and Senator Frank Lasee both resigned from the Legislature to take positions in Governor Walker’s administration. According to Wisconsin statute, the governor has a plain 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 January 7, 2019, meaning they will remain unpresented for more than a year.

The lawsuit was filed in the Wisconsin Circuit Court in Dane County. The complaint can be read here.

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