The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear the governor’s lawsuit against the GOP-controlled Legislature
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear The lawsuit was filed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers Against the Republican-controlled Legislature, arguing that it obstructs basic government functions.
The court’s liberal majority agreed to hear the case, with the three conservative justices dissenting. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 17.
The court only agreed to immediately hear one of the three issues Evers raised in the complaint. The case concerns the Legislature’s Republican-controlled Budget Committee, which blocks funding for state conservation programs.
Evers also challenged a committee of legislative leaders to not approve a pay raise for UW employees. But after the lawsuit was filed, the committee I agreed to the raises. Evers has also challenged a legislative panel that blocks updating the state’s commercial building standards and ethical standards for licensed professionals.
The court said it kept these two cases on hold pending a future order.
Liberal Justices Janet Protasevich, Rebecca Dallet, Jill Karofsky and Ann Walsh Bradley agreed to accept the case. Conservative Chief Justice Annette Ziegler and the justices Brian Hagedorn And Rebecca Bradley opposition.
In her dissent, Rebecca Bradley accused the majority of “needlessly plunging this court into a morass of politics.”
“By accepting only one of the issues raised by the governor and suspending the other two, the majority reconstitutes this court as the governor’s vehicle for imposing policy changes without the consent of the governed,” she wrote. “When political allies tell the majority to jump, the new majority answers: ‘How far?’”
Hagedorn, who defected separately, said the case was consequential and questioned it being dealt with directly rather than establishing the facts through proceedings in lower courts first.
“The decision in this case could create a historic shift — both in the operation of state government, and in how this court interprets the boundary lines between the branches of government,” Hagedorn wrote. “Typically thoughtful lower court decisions improve the clarity of our work by shaping the arguments and telling the parties what worked and what didn’t.”
Evers and Republican legislative leaders Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Evers argued in the lawsuit that committees controlled by a few Republican lawmakers are being used by the Legislature “to reach beyond the proper area of constitutional legislative authority.”
Evers cites the Legislature’s budget-writing committee rejection From dozens of conservation projects selected by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources under the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Republicans have long criticized the program, which protects lands from development.
LeMahieu dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous at the time it was filed, saying in a statement that Evers “is diluting the voice of Wisconsinites by unduly limiting the power of the Legislature and strengthening its administration.”
Evers and the GOP-controlled Legislature have been at odds from the moment Evers was elected in November 2018. He released more veto More than any other Wisconsin governor, including blocking several bills that change how elections are conducted in the key presidential battleground state.
The Legislature held a lame-duck session a few weeks before Evers took office to weaken the powers of the next governor. They have repeatedly rejected Evers’ appointments to boards and commissions, including shooting Natural Resources Council majority in October.
In another sign of their strained relationship, Evers did just that He rarely met With Republican legislative leaders. Evers is in the second year of his second term.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court flipped to liberal majority control in August. In December, that The legislative maps drawn by Republicans were dropped On decision 4-3. Evers’ lawsuit is one of several high-profile cases brought by Democrats since the court’s majority change.
(tags for translation) Legislative Branch