If, like me, you were distracted by the Milwaukee Brewers home opener on Thursday (which they won in spectacular fashion), you might have missed Governor Tony Evers causing more chaos in Madison.
When Dane County Judge Richard Niess swept away the laws passed during the December Extraordinary Session of the legislature not only did he knock out the laws that were passed, he voided the 82 appointments made by former Governor Scott Walker that were approved by the state Senate.
An Appeals Court issued a stay on Wednesday, reinstating the laws that were passed. However, some damage was done, and we’re waiting to see if Wisconsin will be allowed to withdraw from the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, as Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul announced before the stay was issued.
But also hanging in limbo are the appointments made by Walker. While they (and most reasonable people) may have assumed that the Appeals Court order meant that they could go back to work, the Evers Administration actually had security prevent Public Service Commission (PSC) member Ellen Nowak from returning to work. Nowak, who has a long and distinguished career of public service, was prevented from entering the building because Evers is claiming that he rescinded the appointments before the stay and therefore his decision stands to not have Nowak serve.
It was an really outrageous act by Evers, and we hope that the matter will eventually be resolved with Nowak returning to work without being barred by armed guards.
Wisconsin deserves better than this constitutional crisis cooked up by Evers and a Dane County judge. The cases surrounding the Extraordinary Session will end up in the Wisconsin Supreme Court who will have to decide if, as the Constitution says, the legislature sets its own rules on when it can meet.
A Democratic majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court would mean that Dane County judges, not the state legislature, will write the laws of Wisconsin. However, if we keep a conservative majority on the Supreme Court by voting to elect Judge Brian Hagedorn on Tuesday, then we assure that whatever chaos Evers and his Dane County judicial allies stir up will eventually be overturned and the rule of law will prevail.
If you haven’t voted yet, we cannot stress enough the importance of voting on Tuesday.