The Democratic Party of Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Republicans’ December lame-duck legislation, which were widely seen to limit executive power following former Gov. Scott Walker’s loss in November.
DPW’s lawsuit is the fourth such case to be introduced since the session met late last year.
“Not only did Republicans ignore the will of the people when they passed these laws, they also denied voters their core constitutional rights,” DPW chair Martha Laning said in a press release.
The lame-duck session took place quickly after Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul won their elections. They were seen to reduce executive power, including moves that would allow legislators to handle litigation instead of the attorney general, limit early voting periods and check Evers’ ability to implement state laws. The DPW argues these policies were unconstitutional and undemocratic.
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The DPW filed their case — DPW v. Vos et al — in the U.S. District Court. Partner Vincent Levy and associates Kevin Benish and Timothy Grinsell will represent the DPW plaintiffs. The plaintiffs include educators, healthcare professionals, activists, musicians and others.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, there have been three lawsuits brought against Republicans since the lame-duck session. A conglomerate of labor union groups, the One Wisconsin Institute and Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, and three groups — the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Disability Rights Wisconsin and Black Leaders Organizing for Communities — filed three separate lawsuits.
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The arguments for the first three cases varied from logistical concerns about the session’s meeting, issues with the constitutionality of limiting early voting and qualms with the laws and their enforcement, according to the Sentinel.
“The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is taking legal action today because we refuse to allow these unconstitutional acts to stand. The will of the people is the law of the land, and it’s about time Republicans respected that,” Laning said.