The leading Republican candidate to replace Wisconsin's retiring attorney general is trying to raise money off a judge's decision that tossed out the restrictive voter identification law his party pushed.
Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the measure into law in 2011, but U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled Tuesday that it wasn't justified because the in-person voter fraud it was meant to combat doesn't really exist. At the same time, the law imposed hurdles to voting, especially for poor and minority voters.
Adelman ruled that having a measure in place simply to reassure people that the system is protected is insufficient justification for a restrictive law.
Ignoring the judge's reasoning in a fundraising pitch to supporters, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel vowed he would pursue the state's appeal of the decision if he's elected as attorney general.
"Yesterday the U.S. District Court in Milwaukee upended Wisconsin's efforts to protect fair and open elections," Schimel writes in the email appeal, which links to his campaign donation page.
"Wisconsin citizens have the right to free and fair elections, where the rule of law is simple: One voter, one vote. Voter ID laws safeguard citizens' voices at the ballot box, and it's a policy I will protect as Attorney General," he said, as he repeated the argument rejected by the judge that the law "gives us confidence that our elections are fair."
He also implied the ruling in favor of minority voters violates the law. "It's time to protect the rule of law in Wisconsin and ensure your vote counts. Show your support and stand with me to defend the Rule of Law and keep Wisconsin moving forward," Schimel concluded.