Wisconsin Special Election Update


Earlier, we wrote about Republican governors not scheduling special elections for vacancies in the legislature presumably out of fear. The Democrats have been flipping a lot of seats in special elections and have been making huge gains even in the elections where the seat has remained in Republican control.

After a special election in January in a very red district in Wisconsin flipped the seat to a Democrat, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suddenly decided he wasn’t going to schedule special elections for two more vacancies in the Wisconsin legislature. The voters in those two districts sued (and were represented by Obama’s former Attorney General Eric Holder). Last week, a judge (appointed by Gov. Walker) ruled that he must abide by the law and set dates for the special elections by no later than Thursday, March 27.

Immediately, Gov. Walker set in motion getting new legislation passed to render that law irrelevant. Since he needed a little more time to get a new law written, through committee, and then voted on, he asked the court for more time.

Yesterday, Gov. Walker’s attorneys argued in front of a different judge (Richard Niess) the merits of their case, to which the judge basically said, “Are you kidding me.” Here’s a choice quote from the proceedings:

“I am not ruling on what the law might be in the future,” Niess said. “I am enforcing the law as it is now. Other arguments are for another day. … When and if a legislative bill becomes a law, it can be brought to a court and at that time arguments can be made about what the effect of the law is.”

Read the full story about the proceeding: Judge Rejects Walker’s Bid to Delay Calling Special Election

There will be more to this story. Gov. Walker seems on a singular path to subvert democracy for voters in Wisconsin.

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