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Supreme Court Justices raise questions on lame duck lawsuit

MADISON (WKOW) — Conservative Justices on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court seemed doubtful hearing arguments from a liberal leaning group challenging lame-duck law passed last year.

The League of Women Voters, along with Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, and Disability Rights Wisconsin brought forth the lawsuit. It challenges legislation passed by Republicans in December 2018 which curtails executive powers of Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul. Their lawsuit focuses on how the legislature called lawmakers back to Madison to hold the extraordinary session.

To pass the lame-duck laws, lawmakers met in what’s called an extraordinary session. It’s called that because it’s during a time period when lawmakers are asked to return after completing most of their work for the year.

Conservative justices questioned the groups claims that lawmakers met illegally during the session. Republican’s and their attorney’s argue lawmakers can call session whenever they want.

“Counsel you are asking this court to rule Wisconsin’s legislature has been acting unconstitutionally for four decades how can that be?” said Justice Rebecca Bradley.

The League of Women Voters argues extraordinary sessions are not legal because Wisconsin’s constitution says only the governor can call lawmakers back to the capitol or only at times approved through resolutions that are passed at the beginning of the two-year session period.

Wisconsin law currently doesn’t have a clear description of what falls under an “extraordinary session.”

It’s likely the high court will rule on the case this summer.

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Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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