Wisconsin Public Radio

GOP Asks Court to Restore Walker Appointees

Legislators want Appeals Court to force Evers to recognize 15 appointees the governor says were unlawful.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Apr 2nd, 2019 10:54 am
Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Dave Reid.

Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Dave Reid.

Republican state lawmakers are asking a state appellate court to force Gov. Tony Evers to recognize 15 appointments to state boards and commissions made by former Gov. Scott Walker.

Lawmakers on Monday issued a formal request for the District III Court of Appeals in Wausau to enforce a stay, issued last week, in an ongoing case over December’s lame-duck session of the state Legislature.

The governor and GOP legislative leaders disagree over the power of the stay, with lawmakers contending it reinstates all 82 Walker appointments confirmed during the lame-duck session. Evers contends his action on the appointments stands.

The governor has re-appointed 67 of those positions and maintains that 15 jobs, including spots on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and state Public Service Commission, remain vacant.

Ellen Nowak, Walker’s appointee to the Public Service Commission, attempted to report to work last week and was turned away. She filed a court document in support of the GOP request on Monday.

In their request, GOP lawmakers’ lawyer, Misha Tseytlin, called Evers’ action an “affront to the court.”

“(The governor) is violating an explicit court order, and he is seeking to nullify appellate review over a significant portion of the circuit court’s decision,” the filing read.

Evers’ spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, was quick to push back.

“The governor’s actions were lawful and valid,” Baldauff said via email. “The governor has properly submitted nominations to the state Senate for confirmation and looks forward to prompt action to ensure these appointees can immediately get to work serving the people of Wisconsin.”

The appellate court has set deadlines later this month for briefings to be filed in the case, before arguments are heard. Republicans are pushing for quick action, as several lawsuits challenging the lame-duck session move forward.

Another circuit court ruling, issued last week, has blocked some of the laws passed during the lame-duck session. Republicans say they plan to appeal that ruling as well.

Two federal cases are also before the courts — one focusing on early voting restrictions is before a federal appellate court and another has not yet had arguments in district court.

Listen to the WPR report here.

GOP Lawmakers Ask Court To Intervene In Walker Appointee Dispute was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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