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Another Dane County Judge Blocks Portion Of Lame-Duck Laws

Andy Manis/Getty Images
Wisconsin lawmakers meet in a lame-duck session in December 2018.

A second Dane County judge has blocked a portion of Republican-backed laws limiting Gov. Tony Evers' and Attorney General Josh Kaul's powers. Judge Frank Remington Tuesday overturned language that requires Kaul to get legislative approval before settling cases. 

His order stems from a lawsuit brought by unions that argued the laws violate the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government. Remington let stand portions of the laws that give the Legislature the right to intervene in cases.  

Republican legislative leaders say they'll appeal the ruling. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a joint statement Tuesday, saying that all of the Legislature's actions during the lame-duck session were consistent with the separation of powers that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld for decades.

Republicans passed the laws in December, before Evers and Kaul took office. The union lawsuit is one of four that's been filed. Last week, Dane County Judge Richard Niess blocked all the laws in a lawsuit brought by several liberal-leaning groups, alleging that the December session was illegal. Republicans have asked a state appeals court to stay Judge Niess' ruling.

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