By Alex Villatoro
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is celebrating two recent Dan County Circuit Court rulings against laws passed by the GOP during a December lame-duck legislative session used to weaken the authority of Evers and Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul before they took office.
Evers responded quickly by removing 82 appointments made by his predecessor and announced that Wisconsin would no longer partake in a multistate lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. The laws passed would prohibit the Governor from withdrawing from lawsuits and prohibit the AG from settling lawsuits without legislative approval.
The first judge to rule against the GOP voided all appointments and legislation passed during the lame-duck legislative session, claiming the GOP lawmakers convened the session in a way that violated the state constitution. The second judge only blocked some provisions, stating the plaintiffs were likely to prove they violated the separation-of-powers doctrine in the state construction. However, on March 27, an appeals court sided with the GOP-controlled legislature, granting a request by the legislators to stay the first ruling pending a full appeals process.
The GOP has announced plans to challenge the second ruling as well.