State Watch

Lawsuit aims to invalidate Wisconsin laws signed by Walker in lame-duck session

A coalition of left-leaning groups said it would file a lawsuit Thursday asking a judge to invalidate laws signed by former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) last month that were passed by the state legislature during a lame-duck session.

The lawsuit alleges that the lame-duck session was unconstitutional.

{mosads}”The Legislature had no legal authority to convene the December 2018 Extraordinary Session,” the lawsuit says, according to The Associated Press. “The Wisconsin Constitution does not provide for the Legislature, let alone a small subset of each chamber acting through committees, to convene itself in an ‘extraordinary session,’ and neither does any statute.”

Jeffrey Mandel, the group’s attorney, told the AP that the suit would be filed in Dane County court.

The groups taking legal action include the League of Women Voters, Disability Rights Wisconsin and Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, as well as three Wisconsin voters.

The laws they seek to invalidate strip key powers from Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) and give those authorities back to the GOP-led legislature.

The new laws limit Evers’s governing authority over state rules and require him to receive permission from the legislature to change benefit programs.

A previous lawsuit is attempting to have a federal judge strike down a law that limits early voting rights, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, but Thursday’s suit is the first to challenge the entire set of laws emanating from the lame-duck session.

In another complaint filed Thursday in Dane County, state Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D), who is paralyzed from the chest down, is asking the district attorney to sue GOP leaders in the state legislature for not accommodating his disabilities by calling an overnight legislative session without enough advanced notice.


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