A group headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed suit against Gov. Scott Walker Monday for failing to call for a special election to fill two open legislature seats.
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee filed the lawsuit because two representatives left the Legislature to work for Walker in December and the seats have not yet been filled.
The lawsuit from NDRC is a waste of taxpayer money, Walker’s press secretary, Amy Hasenburg, said. Though a special election was not called, voters will be able to elect new representatives in November.
On behalf of Wisconsin Democrats who live in the two affected districts, Holder’s special interest group, the NDRC, brought the lawsuit to the Dane County Circuit Court.
Holder believes Walker’s refusal to hold the special elections goes against the idea of a representative democracy and that doing so violates the rights of citizens to be represented in a general assembly, according to the lawsuit.
“The Legislature will be adjourned for 2018 before [those] seats could be filled in special elections, and staff in these offices are working for constituents until new leaders are elected,” Hasenburg said.
The outcome of the lawsuit rests primarily on a state law that declares that Walker is required to call a special election to fill any legislative seat that opens “before the 2nd Tuesday in May in the year in which a regular election is held,” according to USA Today.
This law could determine that Walker’s refusal to hold the special elections is justified, as the legislative seats opened in 2017 and not 2018, which is a regular election year, Hasenburg said.
“Our decision is consistent with the law,” Hasenburg said.