A newly released memo argues changes to the appeals process for cases tied to Foxconn’s proposed flat-panel display factory may be unconstitutional.
The bill signed by the governor this week allows appeals in lawsuits related to the factory to be heard directly by the state Supreme Court, bypassing the appeals court. Legislative Council staff, who provide legal analysis for lawmakers, warn the expedited appeals process could be challenged, although it does predict whether a court would strike the provision down.
Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), who requested the memo, says the change erodes public trust in the court system, while giving preferential treatment to a foreign company. “Everyone should be treated fairly, everyone should have equal access to the process…that’s what people expect out of the court system,” she argues.
A spokesman for Governor Scott Walker says they believe the provision is constitutional, and will prevent frivolous lawsuits from stone-walling the creation of thousands of jobs.