Politics

Decision on blocking lame-duck laws expected within 24 hours

MADISON, Wis. - A judge says he'll issue a decision on whether to block laws Republicans passed during a lame-duck legislative session within 24 hours.

Five unions filed a lawsuit in Dane County in February arguing the laws violate the separation of powers. Judge Frank Remington heard hours of oral arguments Monday. At the conclusion of the hearing he said he will issue a written decision on whether to order a preliminary injunction blocking the laws or portions of them by the end of business Tuesday.

Remington wouldn't say how he would rule but did say the order will deny Republican legislators' request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Another Dane County judge has blocked the laws in their entirety in a separate lawsuit last week. The 3rd District Court of Appeals is considering whether to stay that order.

The laws limit Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul's powers. Republicans passed the statutes in December, just weeks before Evers and Kaul took office.

Unions call Wisconsin lame-duck laws 'egregious'

An attorney for a group of unions says Republican-backed laws that limit the powers of Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are an egregious attempt to steal power from the executive branch.

A hearing was held Monday in a lawsuit filed by the unions, which argue that the laws violate separation of government powers. The laws were quickly passed in December, before Evers and Kaul -- both Democrats -- took office.

The unions' attorney told the judge that a handful of GOP legislators essentially took power away from the executive branch. He called the actions "an egregious attempt" at political gain.

The Legislature's attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the case.

A different judge temporarily blocked the laws last week in a separate lawsuit filed by a coalition of liberal-leaning groups.

 

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