Yet another Dane County lower court ruling overturned

The “lame duck” legislation may have been churlish, politically tone deaf, and inimical to the general welfare (it wasn’t) but the question before the court was simply: was it legal?

My friendly comrade John Nichols hopes his readers have a short memory.

Always in the service of his statist ideology, The Capital Times associate editor lambastes the WI Supreme Court AND the state legislature for a decision he does not like in Sunday’s paper (06-23-19).

“A lawless court OKs legislative lawbreaking.” 

Writes Comrade Nichols:

When the partisan majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the political chicanery of Republican legislators, no one was surprised. Sadly, it was to be expected that the four justices who serve as rubber stamps for the right wing of the state Republican Party (and its major donors) would refuse to overturn “lame-duck” laws. 


The law as written, not as wished!

Of course, it could be said that the partisan minority on the court served as rubber stamps for the left wing of the Democrat(ic) party — and its major donors!

Nichols is in a dither because the Legislature — meeting after the 2018 election in which Democrat Tony Evers defeated Scott Walker — passed legislation curbing the new governor’s powers. (Among other things: to prevent the new governor from rescinding Medicaid work requirements without legislative approval and to withdraw Wisconsin from multi-state lawsuit against ObamaCare. The legislature also ratified 82 last-minute Walker appointments.)

Democrats descended on the capitol to make noise but it was short-lived and anemic, a shadow of the Act 10 intifada. So, a number of groups brought suit, including (lamentably) the once-nonpartisan League of [Liberal] Women Voters. Of course, they won in Dane County (Wisconsin’s version of the federal system’s 9th circuit) but lost when the high court affirmed the legality of the legislature’s action by a 4-3 vote Friday (06-21-19). Hence Nichols’ alliterative tantrum

Legislature is always in session

It may well be that John’s readers suffer short-term memories. He can only hope because just two months ago one of those right-wing Republican legislators explained the law about as well as it can be explained. Oh wait a minute!!!  Tom Loftus is no Republican and is hardly “right wing” but the former Democratic speaker of the state Assembly and the Democratic nominee for governor in 1990. How embarrassing!

There is, in reality, no such thing as a “special session,” Loftus wrote, on April 26 for the Capital Times!:

[T]he legislature is always in session. The reality of one continuous two-year session was formally acknowledged by a constitutional amendment ratified in April 1968: “Shall Article IV, Section 11 of the Constitution be amended to permit the Legislature to meet in regular session oftener than once in two years?” The amendment was ratified in a 670,757 to 267,997 vote. …

The Legislature, under the Constitution, governs itself — setting its own rules of organization, procedures and calendar. So an extraordinary session is simply a floor period added to the dates adopted at the beginning of the two-year session, but, like a special session, it is restricted in subject matter.

Wisconsin’s Legislature does not adjourn sine die — meaning “without a day” to reconvene — until minutes before members of a new Legislature are sworn in.

Fred Risser, lawless legislative law-breaker

Think about it, Loftus argued. Could a governor time his veto when the legislature is out of session, “thus thwarting the Legislature’s power under the Constitution to consider an override?”

Indeed,  the legislature met after its usual floor period in 1980, 1987 and 1988 to consider vetoes. Oh, and again on July 17, 2012, to elect Fred Risser as Senate president following the recall elections.

Blaska’s Bottom Line Who are the partisans on the court? We nominate Justices Rebecca Dallet, Ann Walsh Bradley and Shirley Abrahamson.

For further study: By signing Justice Dallet’s dissenting opinion, but adding no comment of her own, Abrahamson was spared the task of explaining the apparent illegitimacy — in her view — of extraordinary sessions held on many occasions during the last four decades. — RightWisconsin.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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26 Responses to Yet another Dane County lower court ruling overturned

  1. patrickmoloughlin says:

    If I’m not mistaken, over the years there have been MANY lame duck sessions, held after elections, but before the swearing in, and the laws passed during those sessions have never been challenged before. They had zero arguments that the laws were invalid.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. westsidesue says:

    Thanks for clarifying with this article! It’s not a matter of winning. It’s doing what’s right. (On a side note – I LOVE the what you’ve done to the living room.)


    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      Speaking of the Manor’s swanky new decor, I’m trying to figure out if your own persona is supposed to be channeling Alistair Cook hosting Masterpiece theatre or Orson Welles peddling cheap wine.


    • On the subject of upgrades, Chris Rickert has bestowed Blaska with the reference Conservative Activist, a noticeable improvement, with considerably more cachet, than Conservative Blogger.

      The Gotch

      Liked by 1 person

  3. old baldy says:

    Just so we all know, why were the powers of the previous governor and AG OK, but those same powers of the new governor and AG needed “curbing” ? Partisanship, perhaps? A bad case of sore loser syndrome?


    • AnonyBob says:

      No! It’s “the will of the voters!” – of 4 years ago. The GOP leggies screwed the incoming administration simply because they could. Nothing more, nothing less. Why don’t Democrats think to debase democracy like this?


      • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

        @hankdog/old baldy;

        “A bad case of sore loser syndrome?”

        You mean like the Le Resistance, where Lefties have been in dangerously immersed in catatonic/apoplectic, pillow-biting, mouth-breathing, weenie-whiny, simpering-whimpering complete metaphysical, emotional, existential, psychological, philosophical, full-throated, freaking out, melting down, totally collapsing free-fall since…ohhhhhh….right around 11/09/2016?

        Not an enviable state of affairs for those perilously close to the dark abyss to begin with, am I right?

        Anywho, and now, wah, they want to, waaaaaah, abolish the waaaaaaaaaaaah Electoral College waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, because the lyin’ theivin’ decevin’ Hillarity couldn’t win by the formula set out in The Constitution of The United States of America.

        Nosirree! THAT sure ain’t sore losing!


        “ ‘the will of the voters!’ ”

        Lefties talking about the will of the voters? Now THAT’S rich!

        NEWSFLASH: People aren’t buyin’ what Lefty’s sellin’, and can you blame them? It’s an ideology that’s failed at everything it’s tried (except population reduction) and everywhere it’s been tried.

        Now their pitch is more More MORE high quality/quantity free $#!T on top of victimhoodie for all.

        Oddly enough, there appears to be Lefties that retain some self-respect (not that one would glean that from reading your slobberings), so career Lefties have to…um…expand the electorate to include, but not limit to, 16 year-olds, felons, and illegals.

        It’s almost too pathetic to endure.


        The Gotch

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bob Dorn says:

        Well, lest we forget the attempt by Dems to fulfill the “will of the voters” in 2010 before Walker came into office by breaking somebody out of prison – except FAIL


      • madisonexpat says:

        They did. It was called lawfare and you were all for it.


      • AnonyBob says:

        Dorn and Splat: no explanation? Making sh*t up? Failed at “breaking someone out of prison?” Maybe you’re confused and thinking about former speaker Scott Jensen; he should’ve been in jail.


  4. dad29 says:

    Perhaps the Democrats should win majorities in the Legislature and pass laws repealing the awful, terrible, anti-people, pro-chaos Pubbie legislation?

    Or would that be too difficult?

    Well, yes, I know the answer. It’s sorta like the answer to “…why don’t the Democrats repeal the 2nd Amendment when they have legislative majorities?” Turns out that suicide is NOT painless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • richard lesiak says:

      Let’s redraw the state and do it legally. Dem’s got more votes and still a minority. Kill the gerrymandering by all sides.


      • old baldy says:

        Exactly. Why would anyone, R or D, be afraid of a fair and impartial redistricting?


        • @hankdog/old baldy;

          “Why would anyone, R or D, be afraid of a fair and impartial redistricting?”

          GREAT question! Ask the party that wants to enfranchise 16 year-olds, felons, and illegals…

          The Gotch

          Liked by 3 people

        • richard lesiak says:

          Let’s put it on the ballot and if the people vote in favor then write it into the state constitution.


        • David Blaska says:

          Let’s put apple pie and motherhood on the ballot, too. If the people vote in favor, then write it into the constitution.


        • old baldy says:

          And yet another question to which the gootch declines to offer a rational response. Cat got your tongue?


        • @hankdog/old baldy;

          There a basic English interpreter you might avail? Because it’s painfully clear from your meandering, disjointed slobberings that you’re the only one NOT up to speed, here.

          On a par with @richard lesiak, whose enviable knowledge of state government (and everything else requiring critical thinking capacity) has him thinking the State Constitution may be amended by referendum.

          Cannon fodder!

          The Gotch


        • old baldy says:

          And yet again the gootch wastes a lot of words, and still no answer. Is anyone surprised?


        • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

          @hankdog/old baldy;

          “And yet again the gootch wastes a lot of words, and still no answer. Is anyone surprised?”

          DISCLAIMER: I’m NO a fan of redistricting dictated by partisan desires!”

          Sound familiar? Sheesh; it’s right under your slobbering!

          The real problem isn’t that you’re willfully ignorant; heck, it’s a given that you embrace it with open arms.

          The REAL problem? It doesn’t bother you one whit!

          The Gotch


      • @richard lesiak;

        DISCLAIMER: I’m NO a fan of redistricting dictated by partisan desires!

        “Let’s put it on the ballot and if the people vote in favor then write it into the state constitution.” (bolds mine)

        Write it into the Constitution??

        Say WHAT???

        HeyZeus Alou; curious, any earthly idea how the State of Wisconsin Constitution is amended?

        Just kidding, the answer’s painfully clear…

        The Gotch


  5. richard lesiak says:

    gotch; maybe ask the party in charge why they refuse to bring it up.


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