The Latest: Unions call Wisconsin lame-duck laws ‘egregious’

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on challenges to Wisconsin Republicans’ lame-duck laws limiting Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul’s powers (all times local):

9:15 a.m.

An attorney for a group of unions says Republican-backed laws that limit the powers of Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are an egregious attempt to steal power from the executive branch.

A hearing was held Monday in a lawsuit filed by the unions, which argue that the laws violate separation of government powers. The laws were quickly passed in December, before Evers and Kaul — both Democrats — took office.

The unions’ attorney told the judge that a handful of GOP legislators essentially took power away from the executive branch. He called the actions “an egregious attempt” at political gain.

The Legislature’s attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the case.

A different judge temporarily blocked the laws last week in a separate lawsuit filed by a coalition of liberal-leaning groups.


8:05 a.m.

A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in another lawsuit challenging Republican-backed laws limiting Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul’s powers.

Five unions sued in February, alleging the laws violate the separation of powers doctrine because they transfer power from the executive branch to legislators. Judge Frank Remington is set to hear oral arguments at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

The lawsuit is one of four challenging the laws.

The state Democratic Party and liberal group One Wisconsin Now have each filed a lawsuit in federal court. A coalition of liberal-leaning groups filed a third action in Dane County. Judge Richard Niess ruled in that case last week that the Legislature convened illegally when it passed the laws in December.

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