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State Supreme Court says lame-duck session was legal

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is bemoaning a state Supreme Court ruling in favor of Republicans who held a lame-duck legislative session last year to weaken his powers.

The Democratic governor on Friday called the ruling a disappointment and “all too predictable.”

He says the 4-3 decision by the conservative-controlled court is “based on a desired political outcome, not the plain meaning and text of the constitution.”

Wisconsin Republicans are heralding the ruling.

Despite the odd coincidence that Republicans decided to strip the governor position of its powers right before a democrat took office, they’re saying in a joint statement that the ruling is a “common sense decision.”

The court ruled that Republicans legally called the session, which was convened in December shortly after Evers defeated Republican Scott Walker but before he took office.

Evers says the constitution was designed to prevent lawmakers from quickly passing laws without public scrutiny. He called the lame-duck session “an attack on the will of the people, our democracy, and our system of government.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald are calling on Evers to work with the Legislature “instead of pursuing his political agenda through the courts.”

Two other lawsuits, one before the state Supreme Court and one in federal court, are pending.

The majority says the Wisconsin Constitution gives the Legislature the authority to decide when to meet in session, so Republicans did nothing wrong in convening in December, shortly after Walker was defeated.

Liberal justices dissented, saying the law doesn’t allow for the Legislature to call such a session.

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