Wisconsin Public Radio

WI Supreme Court Nullifies Three of Evers’ Vetoes

Conservative majority tosses out decades of precedent on the governor's vetoes.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Jul 10th, 2020 11:13 am
Wisconsin Supreme Court. Photo by Dave Reid.

Wisconsin Supreme Court. Photo by Dave Reid.

Conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court have struck down three of Gov. Tony Evers‘ partial vetoes from the 2019 state budget, bucking decades of court rulings that have upheld or expanded Wisconsin governors’ veto powers.

The court’s ruling was the second in as many days that sided with the Legislature in a power dispute with the governor, the first coming Thursday when justices largely upheld lame duck laws passed in 2018.

Justices were asked to rule on the governor’s veto power by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which challenged four of Evers’ budget vetoes from 2019. But more broadly, the group used the case to ask the court to rethink, and largely reject, state Supreme Court precedent handed down in decisions dating back to 1935.

While justices sided with the institute in three of the four vetoes, the court’s 5-2 conservative majority could not settle on a single rationale for when a governor’s partial veto goes too far.

The practical effect is that three of Evers’ 2019 budget vetoes have been declared invalid. They include one that shifted funding for school buses to electric vehicle charging stations, another that changed the definition of “vapor products” and a third that redefined who qualified for funding under a local roads improvement fund.

Justices rejected a second, more limited lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Small Business Inc. which challenged two vetoes made by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2017. The court ruled that case was brought too late to be considered by justices.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Three Evers Vetoes was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

One thought on “WI Supreme Court Nullifies Three of Evers’ Vetoes”

  1. mkwagner says:

    Of course the conservative majority could not come up with a rationale. These decisions were blatantly partisan and have nothing to do with the rule of law.. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is doing everything in its power to suppress democracy. What about the Republican legislators. Knowing they can’t overturn vetoes BECAUSE they don’t have the necessary votes, Vos & Fitzgerald turned to the Supreme Court to legislate for them, in direct violation of the Wisconsin Constitution. How far does their disdain for the Constitution go? And to what end? Have they improved the lot of Wisconsin residents? Not when an additional 3,000 Wisconsinites lost their jobs in the last week. Not when their machinations have caused the rate of covid-19 to double in the last month. Not when it comes to ensuring Wisconsinites have access to health care or even broadband internet. It is fair to say Republicans in Wisconsin care not at all for the needs of their constituency. They are certainly quick to take Federal dollars to line their own pockets.
    They only way we will be able to take back our state is to vote corrupt Republicans oligarchs like Vos and Fitzgerald out of office.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us