Bar Exams in the Pandemic JURIST Digital Scholars
Wisconsin AG challenges Republican-made laws limiting his power
© WikiMedia (Royalbroil)
Wisconsin AG challenges Republican-made laws limiting his power

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) filed a lawsuit Monday challenging a Republican-made law limiting his power that was passed during a lame-duck session of the legislature in 2018. This law was passed in the time between Kaul’s election and him taking office.

Kaul is challenging portions of Act 369, which limit his ability to get financial retribution for consumers and employees, hold polluters accountable, and address disputes between the state and vendors who have breached their contract. Under the Act, the Attorney General needs approval from the legislature to enter into settlement agreements involving consumer protection and executive branch agencies.

Kaul stated, “[t]he provision of the 2018 extraordinary session legislation that’s at issue in this case impedes [the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s] critical work by giving the state legislature a role in executive branch functions, in violation of the Wisconsin Constitution’s separation of powers.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court previously decided SEIU v. Vos and did not find Act 369 to be unconstitutional in every application. The court noted that there may be individual applications of the law that may violate the state constitution. Kaul is asking the state Supreme Court to take this lawsuit as an original action.