Capitol Notes: More Lawsuits Challenging Lame-Duck Laws Loom On The Horizon

Mar 25, 2019

It was a wild ride at the State Capitol last week, as a Dane County judge struck down the lame-duck laws that the Republican-led Legislature passed in December, before Democratic Gov. Tony Evers took office. The laws stripped Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul of some of their powers. 

After the judge's ruling, Kaul quickly moved to pull Wisconsin out of the multi-state federal lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, something that was forbidden under the lame-duck laws. 

Then, attorneys for Republican lawmakers petitioned an appeals court to put the laws back in place, while the case is on formal appeal. A ruling could be made late Monday afternoon, at the earliest.

JR Ross of wispolitics.com, says challenges to the lame-duck laws are far from over.  A different Dane County judge heard arguments Monday in a case brought by several unions, challenging the laws. 

Attorneys for the unions argued that the laws violate the "separation of powers" laid out in the state constitution.   An attorney for the legislature asked that the case be dismissed.  Judge Frank Remington says he'll issue a decision within 24 hours.  

After the ruling from last week, Evers rescinded 82 appointments that Republicans made during the lame-duck session.  Ross says it will be interesting to see if Evers would have to reinstate the positions if the lame duck laws are put back into place. 

Evers said Monday he's moving ahead "as quickly as possible" to fill the vacancies, but some of the posts may go to people who previosuly held them.  One is on the UW Board of Regents and another is on the Public Service Commission.