Kaul wants to get back into lame-duck lawsuit

By  | 

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)--- In an about-face, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul now wants to be heard in the fight to preserve an injunction blocking Republican-backed laws limiting the powers of both his office and Gov. Tony Evers.

A coalition of liberal-leaning groups sued in January alleging the Legislature convened illegally when it passed the legislation in December. The lawsuit technically named Evers as a defendant but the governor has officially taken the coalition's side.

A Dane County judge blocked the law on Thursday. Republican lawmakers asked the 3rd District Court of Appeals on Friday to immediately reinstate the laws pending appeal.

Kaul declined in January to defend Evers, saying the laws affect the state Department of Justice and therefore create a conflict of interest.

But on Friday DOJ sent a letter to the appellate court saying it wants to be heard before a ruling on reinstatement is made, saying it has a unique perspective on the case given its impact on the agency. The department also argues that state law allows the attorney general to be heard when a statute is found unconstitutional.