Scott Walker sued by Eric Holder-backed group over special elections

Scott Walker sued by Eric Holder-backed group over special elections
© Greg Nash

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderWisconsin GOP will tinker with election laws rather than follow court order Judge orders Walker to hold special elections Holder: 2018 vote crucial to combating gerrymandering MORE’s redistricting group sued Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Monday for failing to hold elections to fill vacant seats in the state legislature.

Holder’s group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is suing the governor on behalf of Wisconsin Democrats who live in the two districts that currently lack representatives, the Journal Sentinel reported.


The lawsuit argues that the voters in both districts will remain unrepresented for more than a year and their next chance to vote won’t be until the November elections. It states that, according to Wisconsin statute, the governor has the duty to hold elections for vacant seats “as promptly as possible.”

“Governor Scott Walker’s refusal to hold special elections is an affront to representative democracy,” Holder said in a statement. “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.”

Walker had said he won’t hold special elections and plans to fill the seats in the November elections. The seats opened up after the two Republican representatives left the legislature to work for Walker.

Walker press secretary Amy Hasenberg said the group wants to force Wisconsin to waste taxpayer money on additional elections.

"Voters are already going to the polls this year to elect new representatives in these districts," she said. "This D.C.-based special interest group wants to force Wisconsin taxpayers to waste money."

"The Legislature will be adjourned for 2018 before these seats could be filled in special elections, and staff in these offices are working for constituents until new leaders are elected. Our decision is consistent with the law," she said.

Holder, who served as former President Obama’s first attorney general, has been leading an effort to help Democrats across the country win elected office at the state level.

Updated at 11:31 a.m. Tuesday.