|U.S. Dist Judge James Peterson ruled for voting rights,|
and against Republican-enacted voting restrictions
in One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen. Peterson's
judgment of Aug 1, 2016, and his judicial authority are
now focal points of open defiance by Wisconsin
legislative Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker (R).
Wisconsin Republicans' hubris, echoing Walker's 2018 dismissal of his affirmative duty to call special elections (Robert Dallas Newton Jr. v. Scott Walker), reveals a pathology that now targets the legitimacy of the federal judiciary in Senate Bill 884, signed by Walker as Wisconsin Act 369.
Beyond its routine foolish reading of the rule of law and the law of the case (One Wisconsin Institute, et al v. Thomsen consolidated with Frank v. Walker), in signing Senate Bill 884, Walker has engaged in legitimatizing legislative effrontery that challenges the authority of United States District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The Wisconsin Republican position: Yes, yes, U.S. Dist Judge James Peterson, you and your appellate-circuit friends get very excited in offering your two cents on election law and One Wisconsin Institute, but we Wisconsin Republicans are very busy here, so run along, now.
As the One Wisconsin Institute (and the National Redistricting Foundation) engage in major federal and state litigation against Wisconsin Act 369 that restricts all Wisconsin early-voting to two weeks before Election Day, Republicans have been silent on the fact that the federal judiciary has already ruled this scheme to be unconstitutional, racially discriminatory and pretextual (misrepresentative in legislative purpose)—high bars to achieve for voting rights advocates.
In One Wisconsin, U.S. District James Peterson ruled much of the Republican transformation of Wisconsin election law and many Republican "arguments for its restrictive voting rules [are] pretexual [misrepresentative], and really aimed at giving Republicans advantage in elections," as noted by Rick Hasen, an election law expert living in California (see Becker, The Capital Times, Mal Contends, One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen, Mal Contends, Moritzlaw, Rick Hasen, One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen).
Argue the plaintiffs, One Wisconsin Institute and Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, as noted at Election Law at Moritz:
Count I: Violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights ActThe One Wisconsin Institute and the National Redistricting Foundation (Eric Holder's group), will soon be making the case for the Constitutional rights of Wisconsin voters in federal litigation to uphold Judge Peterson's prior ruling. Wisconsin Republicans cannot just pretend this case hasn't already been adjudicated.
Count II: Undue Burdens on the Right to Vote in Violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
Count III: Disparate Treatment of Voters without a Rational Basis in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
Count V: Abridgment or Denial of the Right to Vote on the Basis of Race in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment
To understand Wisconsin Republicans' psychology, one needs to consider the Party has become so self-entitled and brazenly dishonest, Republican believe, for example, a mere federal judge who issued a pro-voting rights decision in U.S. District Court in 2016 is no impediment to stopping voters who dislodged the Republican anti-voting rights governor and attorney general.
In Republican land the more audacious the lie, the dismissal of established law, and the will of the people, the more Republican self-congratulations.
Republicans can be understood as an underground corporate, Evangelical and white-power movement that seized governmental power with a secret agenda on which it did not campaign, and now schemes to impose its authoritarianism in every corner of government insulated from democratic will and the rule of law.
George Packer calls Republicans a "insurgency" steeped in "institutional depravity" (The Atlantic).
Abe Lincoln called such insurgencies a "conspiracy to seize power" (Nichols, The Nation).
By the way, even as the Republican Party has become an outlaw player in American government, the press still refers to the Party as "conservative," and to voting rights advocates, for example, as "liberal." Absurd. Political writers still cannot drop 'conservative' as a continuing term of description.
In any event, the Republican Party's justification of its voting crackdown, uniformity and fairness, has already been found to not have any rational basis.
We Republicans disagree . . . , is not likely a compelling position to assume in challenging the federal judiciary ruling still being adjudicated in appellate court, during a period when the federal judiciary has grown skittish about the primacy of the rule of law prevailing against executive branch and Party claims of monarchical power.
Scott Walker disagrees of course:
Scott Walker leaves as he governed: with no regard for the wishes of the people of his great state. Totally obedient to the special interests and his party. To lead you have to be bigger than that. https://t.co/3seTUyHsV5— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) December 14, 2018
When he signed the #WIGOPpowergrab bills, Scott Walker sealed his fate.— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) December 15, 2018
The outgoing governor will be remembered only for the harm he has done. And that is the most tragic legacy imaginable for a failed politician. https://t.co/I70xZmLoey