Appeals court reinstates Republican lame-duck laws

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin appeals court sides with Republicans, reinstates lame-duck laws that weakened powers of Democratic governor.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Wednesday put on hold a ruling made last week striking down the laws as unconstitutional.

The appeals court decision means that while the legal fight continues, the lame-duck laws will remain in place.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers took some actions while the ruling was in effect and the laws were not enforceable.

Evers rescinded 82 appointments made by Republicans during the lame-duck session. And Attorney General Josh Kaul moved to withdraw Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit seeking repeal of the federal health care law.

Following the Appeals court decision, Evers' spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, released the following statement: "The only victory today is for the $500-per-hour Chicago lawyers getting paid by taxpayers to defend the Republican attack on our Constitution. Republicans created this chaos and have doubled down on defending their illegal attack on our Constitution instead of working with the governor to move forward. We remain confident that the courts will ultimately undo the entire lame duck session overriding the will of the people.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) to Wednesday's ruling stating:
“Last week’s circuit court ruling created a constitutional crisis -- established law says that the court cannot tell the Legislature how to set its rules. Extraordinary sessions have been called for decades. Today, the rule of law has prevailed. Independent judges have put a Dane County ruling on hold that was based on politics, not the law. A judge should not violate the Legislature’s basic ability to convene when its duly elected members call a session day.”