Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Thursday filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state's nonpartisan elections chief, Meagan Wolfe, whom the state Senate voted along party lines to fire earlier Thursday.
Kaul argued that the 22-11 party-line vote in the Republican-led chamber has "no legal effect" and that Wolfe "is lawfully holding over" in her position as Wisconsin's elections commission administrator.
Senate Republicans argued that Wisconsinites had lost faith in Wolfe over her overseeing of the 2020 elections, even though numerous reviews since have disproved accusations of fraud.
"The fact is, Wisconsinites have expressed concerns with the administration of elections both here in Wisconsin and also nationally," Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said before the vote.
"The vote today represents a lack of faith the people of Wisconsin have in Meagan Wolfe to serve as administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission," he added. "We need to rebuild the faith in Wisconsin’s elections."
Wolfe has pushed back on allegations of fraud in the 2020 election, telling Marquette Law School's Mike Gousha in a Dec. 2021 interview, "I would really encourage people to go back and take a look at how, again, elections are run.
"There are no dark corners in elections," she added.
Democrats argued Thursday’s vote should not have happened in the first place since the bipartisan elections commission had not formally nominated Wolfe for Senate confirmation.
In June, when the six-member bipartisan commission met to vote to nominate Wolfe, the three Republican members voted in favor but the three Democrats abstained to prevent the Senate, whose leaders had indicated they wanted Wolfe gone, from voting on her confirmation, the Associated Press reported.
"While the Senate has purported to take a vote on an appointment of Meagan Wolfe, there is in fact no appointment. The commission was clear that there is no appointment and more importantly, Wisconsin law is clear that there is no appointment because the votes of four commissioners in favor of an appointment were required," Kaul said in a press conference announcing the lawsuit.
"The Senate’s action today where they claim to have voted on an appointment that was not before them has no legal effect whatsoever," he added. "So [Wolfe] remains the administrator. The court I’m very confident will confirm that."
In a press conference of her own after the vote, Wolfe vowed, "I will not bend to political pressure."
Wisconsin AG sues after Republicans vote to fire state elections chief originally appeared on abcnews.go.com