State supreme court asked to rule on budget repair bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

State supreme court asked to rule on budget repair bill


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Court of Appeals says the Supreme Court should hear the budget repair bill case.

On Thursday, the 4th District Appeals court announced they will not rule on the temporary restraining order for the budget repair bill, and deferred it to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

A majority of the seven-member Supreme Court must agree to take it or it would remain in the appeals court.

A Dane County judge issued an order last week preventing Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, saying Republicans violated the state open meetings law when passing it.

But Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked for an appeal,  arguing the judge lacked the authority to block La Follette's publishing,  and was intruding on the separation of powers between branches of government by halting the controversial bill's progress.

The bill eliminates most collective bargaining by public employees.

If the supreme court justices accept and decide the case quickly, it would magnify Justice David Prosser's vote,  since he's up for reelection in less than two weeks.

Prosser told the Associated Press he will not recuse himself from this vote.

"We are confronted by the remarkable political specter of a justice standing for reelection,  voting on an immensely controversial matter that could be days before, or on the day of the election,"   said UW-Madison political science professor Howard Scheweber.

But Scheweber told WKOW27 News even if the court accepts the case,  they could ask for additional legal briefs, with the court's timetable for decision completely up to the justices.

Scheweber said the case's sweeping and important legal issues make a compelling argument for the court to accept and decide the case.

"It appears to us that the central question,"   wrote the three-judge appeal panel,  "is whether the Open Meeting Law's express reliance on and reference to (article of the Wisconsin constitution)...means that the statute should be interpreted a protecting a constitutional interest."

"If the Open Meetings Law is not viewed as protecting a constitutional right...that a court would have no authority to void an act based upon an alleged violation."

Prosser, a former republican lawmaker,  and his April opponent,  assistant attorney general JoAnne Kloppenburg have both said they've formed no opinion on the case.




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