A group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Monday over his refusal to call special elections to fill two open legislative seats. Fresh off a victory in a Senate special election last month, Wisconsin Democrats have demanded that Walker call these two additional special elections and give their party an opportunity to notch more wins. With Democrats seeing an opportunity — and Republicans seeing a threat — the controversy over the special election has taken on a strong political cast. Holder’s group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, jumped into the fight Monday, bringing the lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court on behalf of Wisconsin Democrats who live in the two districts.
“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.”
Holder, who served as then President Barack Obama’s first attorney general, has been leading an effort to help Democrats win statehouse races nationally, including Wisconsin races for governor and state Senate. These state campaigns take on added importance as the country gets closer to 2020 and 2021, when the next round of redistricting will draw the lines of legislative and congressional seats nationally.