April 28, 2011

Brief No. 1 in Ozanne v. Fitzgerald

Via the indispensable Wheeler Report (.pdf; 30 pgs.).

Following a quick skim I'm here to tell you that it's safe to say its authors got beyond "a publication that is sent to schoolchildren."

Wis. AG JBVH's response is due by 05/18.


gnarlytrombone said...

There seems to be much (deliberate) confusion in some quarters over the distinction between a law being unconstitutional and unconstitutional acts by legislators. Any thoughts on that?

illusory tenant said...

Not sure what the particular confusion is, but here we have a constitutional provision (art. IV, sec. 10, the "open doors" provision) codified by statutes (most specifically sec. 19.84 [3], "in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting," but several others as well).

In this case what's alleged is not that the substance of the "budget repair" Act is unconstitutional -- those are Kathleen Falk's and the AFL-CIO's claims -- but that FitzBros acted in violation of the statute, and thereby in violation of the constitution.

Now might the Open Meetings Law statutory requirements themselves be unconstitutional on separation of powers grounds? That's not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. And indeed that may be the only way to vacate Judge Sumi's (very sound, IMHO) reasoning.

illusory tenant said...

(Which still wouldn't make Sumi "wrong," btw.)

gnarlytrombone said...

Not sure what the particular confusion is

I'm not exactly sure either. Tt seems to relate to the talking point about the court's jurisdiction in a law that hasn't been enacted, which goes to your last point.

I see Ozanne speaks to this issue in footnote 2.

illusory tenant said...

The court's jurisdiction could not be more clear. You'd have to be as blind as or blinder than Dad29 not to see it.