A second Wisconsin judge has blocked some of the lame-duck laws the GOP-controlled state legislature rammed through in December before the incoming Democratic attorney general and governor assumed office.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Tuesday that Dane County Judge Frank Remington threw out provisions requiring lawmakers to sign off on settling lawsuits handled by the attorney general and giving legislators the authority to permanently block state rules written by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration. The judge let other provisions of the law stand.
The ruling comes just five days after another Dane County judge, Richard Niess, handed down a sweeping ruling blocking the full slate of lame-duck laws aimed at curbing the power of Evers and Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul. No immediate action is required on Remington’s ruling because Niess’ ruling is already in effect.
Niess found that the lawmakers violated the state constitution in calling an extraordinary session at a time that wasn’t allowed, while Remington ruled that the unions who brought the suit before his bench were likely to prove that the laws violated the constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine, per the Journal-Sentinel.
The newspaper reported that GOP lawmakers have already filed an appeal to Niess’ ruling and are in the process of filing one in this second case.
In the meantime, the state’s top Democrats are flexing their new authority. Evers last week ordered Kaul to withdraw from a multi-state lawsuit arguing that Obamacare is unconstitutional. The governor also removed 82 appointments that his predecessor, Republican Gov. Scott Walker, made during the lame-duck session.