The Latest: Walker won’t say if he’ll call elections
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on lawsuit to force Gov. Scott Walker to call special elections (all times local):
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker isn’t saying whether he will immediately call special elections for a pair of legislative vacancies as ordered by a judge.
Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds rejected all of Walker’s arguments against calling the elections Thursday. She gave him until March 29 to issue an order calling the elections.
Wisconsin Department of Justice spokesman Johnny Koremenos says attorneys who defended Walker are consulting with him about next steps and had no further comment.
The lawsuit was brought by a Democratic group run by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Attorney Elisabeth Frost says she hopes Walker will drop the legal fight and promptly comply with the judge’s order.
The seats were both held by Republicans and have been vacant since Dec. 29.
A Wisconsin judge has ordered Republican Gov. Scott Walker to call special elections for a pair of legislative vacancies, handing a victory to Democrats who have pushed for the elections to be held.
Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds on Thursday sided with voters represented by a national Democratic group led by Eric Holder, the U.S. attorney general under former President Barack Obama. They argued that Wisconsin law required Walker to call the special elections as soon as possible after the Dec. 29 resignations.
The state Senate and Assembly seats were held by Republicans who resigned to join Walker’s administration. Democrats were emboldened they could win the seats after an upset Democratic victory in another state Senate seat two weeks before the resignations.
Attorneys from the state Department of Justice representing Walker are expected to appeal the ruling.
An attorney arguing that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has a legal duty to call special elections for a pair of legislative vacancies says the governor’s arguments are “illogical.”
A judge heard arguments Thursday in the case brought by a national Democratic group led by Eric Holder, the U.S. attorney general under former President Barack Obama.
Attorney Elisabeth Frost says it’s a “textbook” case of voter disenfranchisement. Two voters who live in the affected districts testified they are upset and insulted they don’t have representatives.
But Assistant Attorney General Steve Kilpatrick argues that while it’s unfortunate voters don’t have representatives in those districts, the damage they’re suffering doesn’t meet the legal standard needed to force Walker to call elections.
The judge has not indicated when she will rule.
A Wisconsin judge is considering whether to order Republican Gov. Scott Walker to call special elections for a pair of vacancies in the state Legislature.
The hearing Thursday comes in a lawsuit brought by a national Democratic group led by Eric Holder, the U.S. attorney general under former President Barack Obama.
Attorneys for Holder’s group argue that Walker has an obligation under the law to call special elections as soon as possible to fill the vacancies that occurred on Dec. 29. The seats were held by Republicans.
Walker has refused, saying it would be a waste of money to call the elections ahead of the regularly scheduled election in November. Democrats say Walker is afraid Democrats will win the special elections.