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Council says ‘nothing illegal’ about lame-duck session

Posted at 2 p.m. on January 10, 2019

The Brillion News

MADISON – The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Disability Rights Wisconsin and a Black Leaders group filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the extraordinary legislative session during which Republican legislators passed a number of laws that restrict the powers of the new governor, Democrat Tony Evers.

Republican Governor Scott Walker signed the bills into law before turning his office over to Evers, who beat him in the November general election.  The lawsuit was filed on  January 10 in Dane County Circuit Court.

On the same day, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, released a January 2 memo from the bi-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Council, which said the extraordinary session of the legislature was both legal and constitutional.

“Under the Wisconsin Constitution, the plenary power of the Legislature is vested in the Assembly and Senate and each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings,” the opinion from the Legislative Council said. “Furthermore, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that compliance with such rules of proceedings is exclusively a legislative matter free from interference from the judicial branch.”

The lawsuit by the League of Woman Voters, et. al., claims that an extraordinary session of the legislature is unconstitutional and, thus its actions are void. The Legislative Council opinion was written by its senior staff attorney, Mike Queensland, and acting director Jessica Karls-Ruplinger. The agency has no partisan ties.

~ Ed Byrne/BN. Sources: Wisconsin Legislative Council, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.



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