Wisconsin Supreme Court agrees to hear lame duck session laws challenge
© WikiMedia (Carol M. Highsmith)
Wisconsin Supreme Court agrees to hear lame duck session laws challenge

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin agreed Monday to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of a series of restrictive laws passed during a special session of the state legislature in late 2018.

Following the election of Democratic Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul in 2018, the Republican-controlled state legislature convened a special session on their own volition in order to pass a series of laws limiting the powers of the two positions before the opposition leaders could take office. A lawsuit brought by a number of advocacy groups headed by the Wisconsin League of Women Voters sought to block the laws, arguing that the Wisconsin state constitution only permits a special session of the legislature to be called by the governor and that all the laws passed in December’s special session were therefore unconstitutional. In March two state judges separately enjoined the package of laws from going into effect, while a federal district judge also blocked the voter restriction parts of the bills in January.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments over whether to permit the preliminary injunction until the case can be decided on its merits. One of the injunctions was partially reversed by the state court of appeals in March, though the federal injunction and the other state injunction remain in effect pending the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision.