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  • WisBar News
    April 07, 2011

    Secretary asks supreme court to withdraw or dismiss petition relating to budget repair bill 

    April 7, 2011 – Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas La Follette recently asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to withdraw or dismiss a petition to review issues concerning the budget repair bill.

    Secretary asks supreme court to withdraw or dismiss petition relating to budget repair bill 

    Legal wrangling over the budget repair bill continues with latest petition filed by Secretary of State Doug La Follette, who argues that it’s premature for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide issues presented in a petition that was certified from the appeals court.

    By Joe Forward, Legal Writer, State Bar of Wisconsin

    Gavel April 7, 2011 – Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas La Follette recently asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to dismiss a petition to review issues concerning the budget repair bill.

    In a motion filed today, La Follette says supreme court review of Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi’s March 18 restraining order to temporarily stop publication of 2011 Wis. Act 10 would be premature and not in the interests of justice or judicial economy.

    Judge Sumi issued the order to determine whether Republican lawmakers violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law in passing the act on March 9. The order prevented La Follette from publishing the act, a requirement for implementation of the law. On behalf of La Follette and four Republican lawmakers, the Wisconsin Department of Justice filed an appeal on March 21.

    The appeals court on March 24 filed a certification to the supreme court, asking it to decide whether Judge Sumi had the authority to stop publication of the act and whether voiding the act is a remedy if lawmakers violate open meetings laws in passing it. In addition, the appeals court refused to overturn Judge Sumi’s temporary restraining order (TRO).

    On March 29, La Follette obtained substitute legal counsel, arguing that a conflict of interest exists between the arguments asserted by Republican lawmakers and La Follette’s constitutional and statutory responsibilities as secretary of state.

    In hearings March 31 and April 1, Judge Sumi issued a preliminary injunction to halt publication of the act until further order of the court, and made clear that publication of the act by the Legislative Reference Bureau (RB) on March 25 did not implement the law.

    Today, in a motion filed with the supreme court, La Follette argued that it would premature to decide issues relating to Judge Sumi’s temporary restraining order.

    “If this court were to grant an interlocutory appeal on the original temporary order, the subsequent circuit court orders and full evidentiary record would not be before this Court,” La Follette argued through his attorney, Roger Sage. “Review of the original non-final order is not in the interests of justice or judicial economy.”

    Timeline of events

    March 9: Republican members of the Wisconsin Senate and of a joint legislative committee pass parts of the budget repair bill, 2011 Wisconsin Act 10.

    March 11: Gov. Scott Walker signs the bill.

    March 16: Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne files a lawsuit, asserting lawmakers violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law in passing the bill.

    March 19: Judge Sumi issues a temporary restraining order, preventing Secretary of State La Follette from publishing the law, a requirement for implementation.

    March 21: The Wisconsin Department of Justice, on behalf of four Republican lawmakers and Secretary of State La Follette, files a petition for leave to appeal Judge Sumi’s decision and asks the appeals court to stay the TRO to allow publication of the act.

    March 24: The District IV Wisconsin Court of Appeals certifies the DOJ’s petition to the Wisconsin Supreme Court (the supreme court has not decided whether to grant certification).

    March 29: The Dane County Circuit Court grants La Follette’s request for substitute counsel in place of the Department of Justice. The appeals court denies the DOJ’s request for an order that its petition for leave to appeal Judge Sumi’s March 18 TRO has been rendered moot by the LRB’s publication of the law on March 25.

    March 31 and April 1: Judge Sumi issues a preliminary injunction to halt publication of the act until further order of the court, and clarifies that publication of the act by the LRB did not implement the law.

    April 7: La Follette asks the supreme court to withdraw or dismiss the petition for leave to appeal Judge Sumi’s March 18 TRO as premature.

    Related

    Appeals court asks Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide budget repair bill issues – March 24, 2011

    Wisconsin Department of Justice files petition in case halting publication of budget repair bill – March 21, 2011



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