The state’s highest court has signed off on the so-called “lame duck” actions of the legislature. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the Legislature’s authority to meet in extraordinary session. That’s a rejection of a challenge by of Democratic groups to Republican actions in December, which limited the authority of incoming Democrats, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul.
In the 4-3 ruling the court’s conservative majority concluded extraordinary sessions are constitutional and that the Legislature is the sole authority for its “self-imposed statutory or procedural rules” and only accountable to the voters for failing to follow them.
“Today’s decision is disappointing and, unfortunately, all too predictable. It is based on a desired political outcome, not the plain meaning and text of the constitution,” Governor Tony Evers said in a statement.
“The state constitution is clear. It limits when the legislature can meet to pass laws. Our framers knew that no good comes from lawmakers rushing laws through at the last minute without public scrutiny. The lame-duck session proves the framers were right. This was an attack on the will of the people, our democracy, and our system of government.”
“We are pleased by the Supreme Court’s common sense decision. The Court upheld a previously non-controversial legislative practice used by both parties for decades to enact some of the most important laws in the state<” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a joint statement.
“This lawsuit, pursued by special interests and Governor Evers, has led to an unnecessary waste of taxpayer resources. We urge the governor to work with the Legislature instead of pursuing his political agenda through the courts.”