Mar 26, 2011

GOP move does not enact law, say experts

Publication online is administrative step, not legally binding

Update IV: From WisPolitics:

Dane County District Attorney Ismael R. Ozanne knocks down GOP contention with statement:
I was surprised to learn shortly before 5 p.m. this afternoon that, despite Judge Maryann Sumi’s temporary restraining order, an effort was undertaken to try and make 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 (Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill) effective. I was even more surprised to learn that the impetus for an attempt at publication, contrary to Judge Sumi’s order, came from a named defendant in the lawsuit.

As Judge Sumi said in issuing the temporary restraining order enjoining publication of the bill on March 18, 2011:

Finally, the necessity to preserve the status quo. I think relief is essential to preserve the status quo, which is what exists here and now. The bill has passed. But it has not been published.

I believe that, pursuant to Judge Sumi’s order, the status quo is preserved. This case, including the legal significance of today’s actions, should be resolved in a court of law. I look forward to presenting our case on behalf of the People of the State of Wisconsin Tuesday morning, March 29, 2011, at 8:30 a.m.
Update III: I told my mother, we feel like we were just mugged, but we checked and we still have our wallets. This could have been a Friday night massacre of sorts, but instead the perp just committed suicide in the capitol.

Update II: Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and "[LRB Director Steve Miller] met Friday. Miller said Fitzgerald asked him to publish the law and, after reading the statutes, Miller agreed that he could do so. He said he had never published a law without being given a date by the secretary of state during his 12 years of running the reference bureau." (Marley and Stein, MJS) Fitzgerald said, "It's law." [Note: Fitzgerald's status as a legislative expert is under some dispute.]

Update: Via Rep. Peter Barca comes this:

[LRB Director Steve Miller] ... indicated that the LRB published the Act in order to satisfy a statutory publication requirement that is separate from the publication duty of the Secretary of State, and that such separate and additional publication by the Secretary of State is required in order for Act 10 to take effect.
The "bomb" that Gov. Scott Walker bragged about dropping on Wisconsin was
followed by the latest bomb that has GOP leaders smiling.

Keep smiling. [The mad bombers—Scott Walker, the Fitzgeralds, and Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch—just blew themselves up with their home-made bombs. These guys are either very foolish, playing games with Wisconsin, or some combination of both.]

The bombers are known. And recall efforts of the GOP senators just got another great push, reminding citizens the GOP will do anything in pursuit of the goals of its far-right ideology.

The Wisconsin State Journal's report (Clay Barbour and Ed Treleven) includes experts' explaining why the GOP celebration of sticking it to working families is premature.

The legislative bomb, the anti-collective bargaining bill, had been pushed through the legislature without the necessary quorum and in violation of Wisconsin Open Meeting laws.

Now, the "drama over Gov. Scott Walker's controversial measure limiting public sector collective bargaining took a sharp turn Friday when the Legislative Reference Bureau published the law — normally the last step before legislation takes effect." (Barbour and Treleven)

But this act will not stand either inside a courtroom or in the homes of Wisconsin families.

From Barbour and Treleven:
But officials with the nonpartisan Reference Bureau (LRB) and the Legislative Council — the Legislature's drafting and research agency and its legal service, respectively — said publication of the act online was only an administrative step.

Reference Bureau Director Steve Miller and Legislative Council staff attorney Scott Grosz both said La Follette still needs to designate a date for publication and actually publish the act in the Wisconsin State Journal — something the court order bars the secretary of state from doing.
The WSJ report continues: "If the bureau's action did constitute publication, it could make moot the state's appeal of Sumi's order, now before the state Supreme Court."

And if Judge Sumi's order becomes moot, other remedies become available.

Madison attorney Lester Pines is quoted, saying: "I suspect that if Judge Sumi was willing to take up a (temporary restraining order) against publication I suspect she'd do the same thing on enforcement" of the new law. "This is going to unleash a tsunami of litigation." (Barbour and Treleven)

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