The fight over restricting early voting in Wisconsin returned to federal court Monday, three days after Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a new limit passed during a lame-duck legislative session. A coalition of liberal groups, with the support of former Democratic U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, asked a federal judge to block implementation of the early voting restrictions. The same judge in 2016 struck down a similar two-week early voting limitation as unconstitutional. Attorneys for the groups argued that Republicans called the lame-duck session “as part of a partisan attempt to retain and regain power” and the early voting limitation was “in direct violation” of the court’s 2016 order.
Holder, in a statement, said Walker and Republicans showed a “blatant disregard for a previous court ruling and refusal to listen to the will of the people.” He called it “another shameful mark on the legacy of Scott Walker and his allies in the Legislature.”
Walker signed the new limits into law on Friday, just over three weeks before he is replaced by Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers who defeated him in November. Other bills Walker signed that passed during the lame-duck session would limit the powers of Evers and the incoming Democratic attorney general.
Michigan’s Republican legislators also are weighing legislation resembling Wisconsin’s that would strip or dilute the authority of incoming elected Democrats. The push in both states mirrors tactics employed by North Carolina Republicans in 2016.