AP NEWS

The Latest: GOP files notice of second lame-duck appeal

March 29, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the legal fight over whether the Wisconsin state Senate legally confirmed 82 of former Gov. Scott Walker’s appointments during a lame-duck session (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

Republican legislators are filing notice that they will appeal a second ruling blocking laws weakening Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul.

Republicans passed the laws in a December lame-duck session, sparking multiple lawsuits from Democrats and their allies.

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess last week ruled the session was illegal but the 3rd District Court of Appeals has stayed that order pending appeal.

Another Dane County judge, Frank Remington, struck down key portions of the laws on Tuesday, finding they violate the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.

Republican legislators’ attorney, Misha Tseytlin (SATE’-lim), filed notice of appeal of Remington’s ruling with the 3rd District on Thursday.

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12:30 p.m.

The state Senate’s top Republican is telling 15 GOP appointees whom Democratic Gov. Tony Evers fired to go back to work.

Senate Republicans confirmed 82 appointees during a December lame-duck session. A Dane County judge ruled last week that the session was illegal and Evers rescinded the appointments. An appeals court on Wednesday stayed the judge’s ruling, creating confusion about the appointees have their jobs back.

Evers gave 67 of the appointees their positions back Thursday but 15 higher-profile appointees remain out of work. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald sent a letter to the appointees Friday saying the Legislature believes they still hold their positions given the stay and they can continue to serve.

One of the appointees, former Public Service Commission member Ellen Nowak, tried to go back to work Thursday but security guards wouldn’t let her in the building.

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12:20 p.m.

Democratic Gov. Ton Evers says he decided to give dozens of Republican appointees their jobs back because they fill low-profile positions.

Senate Republicans confirmed 82 GOP appointees during a December lame-duck session. A Dane County judge ruled last week the session was illegal and Evers rescinded the appointments.

An appeals court stayed the ruling on Wednesday, creating confusion about the appointees’ status. Evers gave 67 of the employees their jobs back Thursday with no explanation.

On Friday Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald rejected Evers’ actions, saying the stay means the appointees never lost their jobs in the first place.

Evers told reporters during an appearance at a business conference in Madison that he feels he could legally rescind the appointments because the lower court invalidated the session.

He says he reappointed most of the employees because they’re serve on low-profile boards and commissions and it’s hard to find people willing to serve. He says he hadn’t seen Fitzgerald’s latest remarks “in the huffing and puffing world.”

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11:40 a.m,

The state Senate’s top Republican is rejecting 67 of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ appointments, saying a court ruling prevents him from filling the positions.

Senate Republicans confirmed 82 of former Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s appointees during a December lame-duck session. A Dane County judge last week ruled the session was illegal, prompting Evers to rescind the appointments.

A state appeals court on Wednesday stayed the ruling. Republicans maintain that order means all 82 appointees remain in place. Evers disagrees but on Thursday he reappointed 67 of the 82 appointees with no explanation.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald sent Evers a letter on Friday saying he got the list of appointees but the list “must be in error” because the stay means the positions are already filled. He says any attempt to change that would violate the stay order.