Scott Walker Gives Up Fight To Not Call Wisconsin Special Elections

Scott Walker Gives Up Fight To Not Call Wisconsin Special Elections

A state appeals court has denied Gov. Scott Walker's request to delay a court order calling on him to schedule special elections to fill two legislative vacancies in no uncertain terms.

The judge ruled that "representative government and the election of our representatives are never 'unnecessary, ' never a 'waste of taxpayer resources'".

On Tuesday, Dane County Judge Richard Niess rejected that move, telling attorneys for Walker that it was not the place of a court to rule on a bill that might or might not become law.

DOJ lawyers asked the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to reconsider the case on Wednesday, but their appeal was quickly rejected.

But after a third ruling, the governor relented, issuing an executive order for the special elections to be held on June 12 to fill the vacancies in the 1st Senate and 42nd Assembly districts, who have been unrepresented since late past year.

Even if Republicans were to lose these seats - which is hardly a given - they would still hold an 18-15 majority in the Wisconsin Senate and a 63-36 majority in the Wisconsin Assembly.

Reynolds noted in her ruling that while the Legislature's regular 2018 session had ended, Walker had a history of calling lawmakers back into special session to debate specific issues.

Republicans are rushing a bill through the Legislature that would eliminate requirements that the governor promptly call special elections to fill legislative vacancies.

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Judge Reynolds ordered that Walker must call for the special elections by March 29th at noon. In his decision, Niess says "I am not ruling on what the law might be in the future".

A 2011 change to state law required the appeal be heard outside Madison-based District 4.

Fitzgerald said people would still have representation since Assembly and Senate districts overlap. A judge on that court also refused to grant a delay.

Passing a bill to effectively cancel the elections would throw a "monkey wrench" into the process, Fitzgerald said, and would raise the prospect of having "another judge slapping us down".

Walker told an audience at an event Wednesday night hosted by the conservative radio station WTMJ 620 AM that he will call the special elections for June 12.

Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. "The election could have been scheduled for the spring election and there would have been none of this confusion you're talking about". Wisconsin Republicans, meanwhile, announced they would drop their attempt to change the state law on special elections.

"Keep the elections on the same time, and remember that your military are protecting us at all times and they should have a little extra edge perhaps to get their ballots in on time", Richardson said. And earlier this month, Democrat Conor Lamb, captured what been a reliably Republican congressional seat in Pennsylvania.

Walker's order means that candidates for the 1st Senate and 42nd Assembly districts can begin circulating nomination papers today. "The Republican-led efforts to prevent court-ordered special elections from being held is the height of corruption and the public should not accept this abuse of power".

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