Second judge blocks lame-duck legislation

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Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says a second court ruling in a week against laws passed by Republicans during a lame-duck legislative session is "an important victory for the people of Wisconsin and our constitution."

The legislation limiting executive powers of the governor and state attorney general were passed during an extraordinary session. Five unions sued , arguing the laws unconstitutionally steal power from the executive branch.

Evers issued a statement Tuesday reacting to the ruling. Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington blocked portions of the laws from being in effect. Another judge last week stopped all of the laws that weaken powers of Evers and fellow Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul from being enforced.

Republicans are appealing both.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos say in a joint statement that all of the Legislature's actions were consistent with the separation of powers that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld for decades.

But Evers says the rulings make clear that the lame-duck session "was nothing more than an illegal power grab intended to override the will of the people."

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) is against the court rulings.

“Today's decision would limit the authority of elected representatives in the legislative branch to control the state agencies they fund and oversee. What the legislature authorizes; it can also control. To say that it cannot would undercut the authority of the legislature and the citizens it represents," WILL President and General Counsel, Rick Esenberg said.