Boots & Sabers

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1655, 26 Feb 18

Liberals Sue to Fill Legislative Vacancies

Ummmnnnnn… no.

A group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday filed a lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker for his decision to leave two vacant legislative seats open for nearly a year.

Seats in the state’s 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District were vacated in late December when Walker appointed Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, and Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, to administrative positions.

Walker has argued it makes sense to leave the seats open until the regularly scheduled Nov. 6 elections, but Democrats have argued it’s not fair to leave residents of those districts without representation.

The district offices remain staffed at the Capitol.

“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 … is a plain violation of their rights and we’re hopeful the court will act quickly to order the governor to hold elections.”

Here’s what the Wisconsin Constitution says about this:

Filling vacancies. Section 14. The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislature.
There’s nothing in there about timelines. And given that the legislative session is virtually over, it’s hard to see what would be gained by holding a special election. In fact, one could argue that calling a snap special election deprives the constituents the time to learn about the candidates to make a good choice.

1655, 26 February 2018


  1. jjf

    “Snap”? You’ve got to be kidding. You even quoted the story that said “nearly a year.” You’re certainly spinning. Go ahead, give an explanation for how long it should take, and how long is too long to wait. Show your work.

  2. Paul

    Eso si que es…

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