Quantcast
Connect with us

Wisconsin judge blocks Scott Walker-backed laws curbing Democratic governor’s powers

Published

on

A Wisconsin judge on Thursday blocked legislation passed by Republican lawmakers during a December lame-duck session intended to curb the powers of newly elected Democratic Governor Tony Evers, calling the measures unconstitutionally approved.

The governor immediately moved to withdraw Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Obamacare healthcare law, the signature domestic achievement of former Democratic President Barack Obama and a longtime target of Republicans, including President Donald Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of the statutes passed in December prevented Evers from pulling out of the lawsuit absent legislative approval, until Thursday’s decision set the law aside.

Democrats had criticized the legislation as a last-minute power grab. Republican lawmakers in North Carolina and Michigan pursued similar lame-duck moves after Democratic victories in November.

“The legislature overplayed its hand by using an unlawful process to accumulate more power for itself and override the will of the people,” Evers said in a statement.

Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders vowed to appeal the ruling from Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess, who issued a temporary injunction stopping the laws from taking effect.

ADVERTISEMENT

“For decades the legislature has used extraordinary sessions that have been widely supported by members of both parties,” Robin Vos, the state Assembly speaker, and Scott Fitzgerald, the state Senate majority leader, said in a joint statement.

“Today’s ruling only creates chaos and will surely raise questions about items passed during previous extraordinary sessions, including stronger laws against child sexual predators and drunk drivers,” the statement added.

In his decision, Niess said the legislature’s use of an “extraordinary session” was not explicitly permitted under the state constitution.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The bottom line in this case is that the legislature did not lawfully meet during its December 2018 ‘extraordinary session,’” he wrote.

Lawyers for the legislature had argued that an injunction would cause disruption by making thousands of statutes vulnerable to legal challenges, but Niess rejected that claim.

“Is there anything more destructive to Wisconsin’s constitutional democracy than for courts to abdicate their constitutional responsibilities by knowingly enforcing unconstitutional, and therefore, non-existent laws?” he concluded.

ADVERTISEMENT

The ruling came as part of a lawsuit filed by several left-leaning groups.

Several other lawsuits have been filed challenging the lame-duck legislation. In January, a federal judge in Wisconsin blocked a Republican-backed law that would limit early voting across the state to two weeks. 

Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here are the six most absurd things Trump just said in his unhinged Wednesday press conference

Published

on

President Donald Trump unloaded a whole lot of crazy during a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Trump attacked America's allies in the Middle East, his own political allies on Capitol Hill and repeated talking points used by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdo?an.

Here are six of the most absurd things from the press conference.

Trump proved he has no idea what's happening

During the press conference, Trump claimed his decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria was "strategically brilliant."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s capitulation cheered on Russian TV: Ambassador McFaul says ‘they are joyous in Moscow’

Published

on

America's former ambassador to Russia explained how their state media is celebrating President Donald Trump's capitulation in Ukraine and Syria.

Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed Wednesday by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

"How do you think this should play out, now that they are assembling step-by-step insider accounts with people who are bravely stepping forward, some giving up their careers, Mike McKinley and others having had to quit over this," Mitchell noted. "How do you think this plays out legally or in terms of the politics of impeachment?"

"Well, legally, I’ll defer to others who are more expert. I think what it does underscore is how grossly inept and just broken down the Trump foreign policymaking process is," McFaul replied.

Continue Reading
 

Commentary

Sorry, Ellen and Mayor Pete — but no: We’re not ready to forgive Trump voters

Published

on

The last question of Tuesday night's Democratic debate appears to have really teed people off.  After three hours of a debate that had, as former HUD Secretary Julián Castro noted on Twitter, "no questions tonight about climate, housing or immigration," Anderson Cooper decided to cap things off with a truly saccharine dose of pablum.

This article was originally published at Salon

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image