Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is at war with the courts over democracy. He is losing.
The battle over whether Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker can refuse to hold special elections has rapidly blown up into a nightmare for the GOP, with a third court ordering Walker to just do it already.
After Walker said he wouldn’t let voters in Assembly District 42 and Senate District 1 vote for representatives in the State Assembly, he was sued by voters and voting rights advocates, and ordered to hold the elections by a judge he appointed.
Less than 24 hours later, Walker filed an emergency appeal with the District 2 Court of Appeals — which immediately affirmed the lower court’s decision and, in a two-page ruling, told Walker to stop complaining and schedule the special elections by noon the next day.
In particular, the court slammed Walker’s request to give the Assembly extra time to repeal the law the lower court ruled on, saying that “is not for us or for the Governor to decide; the Governor understands he has an obligation to follow the law as do we and we know of no law that allows us to disregard the clear mandate.”
“We disagree with the Governor’s assertion that special elections ‘are an unnecessary waste of taxpayer resources and confusing to voters’,” continued the ruling. “Representative democracy and the election of our representatives are never ‘unnecessary,’ never a ‘waste of taxpayer resources,’ and the calling of special elections are, as the Governor acknowledges, his ‘obligation’ to follow.”
A sitting governor trying to tell a court that special elections are “unnecessary” is outrageous. It is especially ridiculous given that, as One Wisconsin Now notes, “Two thirds of the offices Scott Walker has held came because he won a special election, including one for State Assembly and one held in an even year.”
But it is obvious that saving taxpayers money or preventing confusion is not Walker’s real goal. He simply fears the two vacant districts, which were held by Republicans, could flip to Democrats in a wave election year.
Walker has now taken his laughable crusade to deprive his own electorate of representation to court three times. And he has struck out.