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Reaction Quick to Lame Duck Court Ruling PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Monday, 25 March 2019 15:21

judgementJudge issues temporary injunction blocking laws limiting the incoming governor’s power. Evers, Democrats claim victory for the people of Wisconsin.

MADISON – The Dane County Circuit Court ruled Thursday in favor of the plaintiffs in the League of Women Voters v. Knutson case filed against the state legislature. During a lame-duck session last year, the Wisconsin state legislature passed a series of laws limiting the incoming governor’s power, undermining the desire of the voters. Thursday’s decision undoes these unconstitutional actions of the legislature.

Judge Richard G. Niess ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in showing that the laws were invalid because they were passed during an unlawful “extraordinary session.” The Wisconsin constitution empowers the legislature to meet only in regular sessions established by statute, or in a “special session” called by the governor and does not allow the legislature to call an “extraordinary session” on its own initiative. The court concluded, “the people’s liberty is imperiled by a Legislature that can meet at will any time, with little warning and even less of a published agenda.”

Governor Tony Evers released the following statement in response to Judge Niess's decision to issue a temporary injunction blocking the Legislature's lame-duck session actions.

tony_evers"Today's ruling is a victory for the people of Wisconsin and for preserving the Wisconsin Constitution. The Legislature overplayed its hand by using an unlawful process to accumulate more power for itself and override the will of the people, despite the outcome of last November's election. I look forward to putting this disappointing chapter behind us so we can move forward together to put the needs of the people of Wisconsin first."

Green Bay's Senator Dave Hansen, who had opposed the legislature's unlawful “extraordinary session” all along, agreed.

dave-hansen“As predicted today’s court decision found Scott Walker’s and the Republicans’ power grab to be unconstitutional,” said Hansen. “Today’s decision exposed the Republicans’ lame duck session for what it was, a transparent attempt to hobble Governor Evers’ ability to fulfill his promises to the voters.”

“Instead of playing childish, partisan games, legislative Republicans need to face the fact that we have a new governor with new priorities. And although they might disagree with him, they owe it to try find common ground so we can begin to move our state forward,” he concluded. “The people rightly expect and deserve more.”

Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) also welcomed the temporary injunction.

gordon_hintz“The lame duck session in December was one of the greatest attacks on our democracy in Wisconsin history. I am hopeful this ruling will reiterate our respect for the rule of law in Wisconsin,” said Hintz. “Republican efforts to override the will of the voters were stopped today, but we must continue working to ensure that future attempts are blocked.”

“Nothing the Republicans did during the lame duck session was about helping the people of Wisconsin. It was about helping politicians, it was about power, and it was about self-interest,” added Hintz. “Today, Judge Niess ruled correctly that in the heat of their power grab, the Republicans didn’t even bother to convene in a lawful manner.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 March 2019 15:18
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