The Wisconsin League of Women Voters is distressed by legislation that seeks to resolve disputes over the constitutionality of newly-passed laws in days or weeks, not years, a possibility the League finds threatening.
Riddled with nonsense—that Assembly Bill 161 would give a legislative majority “unchecked authority” to adopt “unconstitutional laws without consequences,” the League’s press release last week got one thing right by saying what offends supporters of AB 161: namely, that “one judge elected by voters in one county is able to block implementation of a statute that was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.”
What gross violation of constitutional order would AB 161 perpetrate in redressing this grievance? It would specify that a judicial order blocking implementation of a state statute is subject to immediate appeal, the emphasis on “immediate.”
It declines to prescribe who will win. It aims simply to prevent the appeal being strung along until most of us forget what it was all about.
Alas, this discomfits the League and legislative Democrats, reliant as they are on the use of Dane County judges to thwart laws broadly supported, such as collective bargaining reforms. Need we add that League executive director Andrea Kaminski, who issued last Monday’s press release, appears to be a Walker recall petitioner?
It’s hard to say who is doing whose bidding, but it can’t escape notice that every legislative vote on AB 161 has divided on party lines and the League—which itself has used the Dane County judiciary to delay enforcement of Wisconsin’s Voter Identification law—takes a position indistinguishable from that of legislative Democrats struggling to wag the dog.
Maybe they’ll find a Dane County judge to enjoin AB 161.