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READ: AG Kaul, DOJ file suit against Legislature for “fundamentally unconstitutional” 2017 bill

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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul

MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Legislature Joint Finance Committee Tuesday, requesting an injunction be placed on a bill giving the Legislature significant oversight of Kaul.

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According to the suit, Act 369, which went into effect in late 2018 shortly after Kaul and Evers were elected but before they took office, transfers too much executive power to the legislative branch.

In the submitted complaint, the plaintiffs said the bill violates the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

"The plaintiffs and the people of Wisconsin are suffering ongoing irreparable harm from the legislative usurpation of executive power," the plaintiffs said in the suit.

Under Act 369, Kaul is not allowed to "compromise or discontinue" civil suits without the express approval of the Joint Committee on Finance. Before the bill was passed, resolving any civil cases was done at the discretion of the Attorney General.

The suit alleges that in addition to violating separation of powers, the JCF has not held up its end of the deal, taking weeks or sometimes months to consider resolving cases, if at all.

"On September 30, 2020, the Department (of Justice) asked JCF to consider three potential settlements. JCF did not meet to consider and approve these proposals until February 10, 2021," the plaintiffs said.

This suit runs alongside a contrasting one filed in Polk County earlier in June, filed against Kaul by Legislature members. They allege Kaul is in violation of Wisconsin law by not following Act 369, among others passed between Evers' election and inauguration.

You can read the lawsuit below:

Kaul-TI-Brief-FINAL-pdf-1300562

Peter Culver

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