May 30, 2011

Fitzgeralds try foisting civics lesson on Wisconsin

Because evidently they simply presume we're all compleat idiots:
It's disappointing that a Dane County judge wants to keep interjecting herself into the legislative process with no regard to the state constitution. Her action today again flies in the face of the separation of powers between the three branches of government. — Assembly speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-WISGOP)
It's always amusing when right-wing ideologues accuse our judges of ignoring the law. Fitzgerald has no basis for this ridiculous assertion.

If anything "flies in the face" of separation of powers doctrine, it's the Open Meetings Law, crafted and approved by the Wisconsin Assembly, the very legislative body over which Jeff Fitzgerald now presides, and which Judge Sumi faithfully followed in both its letter and its spirit.

(Indeed the OML's letter explicitly describes its constitutional spirit.)

Judge Sumi's reasoning is a textbook demonstration of what are under less inconvenient circumstances for conservatives the latter's very own articulated principles of modest construction and judicial restraint.

What up bruh

Then there's Jeff Fitzgerald's big bruh broham Scott Fitzgerald, WISGOP leader of another State legislative body, the Wisconsin Senate:
There's still a much larger separation-of-powers issue: whether one Madison judge can stand in the way of the other two democratically elected branches of government. The Supreme Court is going to have the ultimate ruling, and they're still scheduled to hear the issue on June 6. This overdue reform is still a critical part of balancing Wisconsin's budget.
A couple of things. In Wisconsin, the judiciary is also a democratically elected branch of government (and Judge Maryann Sumi — like, for example, Justice David Prosser — has been elected twice*). And the Wisconsin Supreme Court is not scheduled to "hear the issue" on June 6.

The Supreme Court is only scheduled on June 6 to hear arguments as to whether or not it should decide to "hear the issue." There has been no appeal filed, as has been widely reported, and the Supreme Court has not even accepted Scott Walker's notorious Republican building maintenance supervisor Mike Huebsch's desperate petition for a writ.

And if it is the case that Fitz Van Walker's union-busting provisions of law are indeed "a critical part of balancing Wisconsin's budget," then not only were those provisions passed unlawfully according to constitutional and statutory open meetings requirements, they were also passed unlawfully according to Article VIII of the State constitution, which requires a three-fifths quorum of State Senators** in order to pass "any law which ... discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state."


Scott Fitzgerald did not have such a quorum when he had passed the provisions of law during a twilight meeting for which he gave only one hour and fifty seven minutes public notice, provisions of law designed to discharge collective bargaining demands of the State to the express end of, as the horse's mouth itself puts it, "balancing Wisconsin's budget."

In other words, even if the State Supreme Court complied with Governor Scott Walker's Department of Justice lawyers' demand that Judge Sumi's decision be vacated, 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 would likely be immediately enjoined by another court on other constitutional "fiscal bill" grounds.

But the reality of the matter is, Scott Walker and his henchpeople in the Wisconsin legislature are inexorably making themselves into pariahs even among their own partisan colleagues, and they can no longer count on the support of the latter to pass their union-busting provisions lawfully, otherwise they would have done it months ago, as early as March 10.

Hence the various desperate flailings of Huebsch, J.B. Van Hollen, et al.

* Thrice if you consider the recent decount attempt.

** And by the end of this summer it's highly probable the Fitz Van Walker regime's cohort of dependable partisans will be diminished considerably, as two or three incumbent Republican State Senators stand a pretty good chance of getting knocked off in recall elections. A recall election, incidentally, is precisely how Scott Walker first gained political power in his prior incarnation as Milwaukee County Executive. But naturally, as recall elections now pose a serious danger to Republican control of the State Senate, they're all of a sudden a really bad idea, says the WISGOP.

(Even as the WISGOP undertakes recalls against several Democrats.)


Jay Bullock said...

Technically, F. Thomas Ament (before he effs you!) resigned his post as Milwaukee County Executive before he could be recalled, so Walker was elected not in a recall election but rather in a special election to fill the open seat. Many county supervisors were indeed recalled at the same time, though, and Ament surely would have been as well.

illusory tenant said...

Yep. The recall effort precipitated and enabled Walker's rise to power.

Jesse said...

Jay, that's true, but Walker brags about the recall of Ament in this campaign video.

illusory tenant said...

Love the soothing flute.

illusory tenant said...

(Likewise F. James Sensenbrenner, btw.)

Anonymous said...

I have read the DOJ rebuttal, and something about it strikes me weird. They refer to premise that ever bill the legislature is assumed constitutional until proven other wise. To me the open meeting law comes under that umbrella too. So here is my confusion the Open Meetings law is unconstitition even though it was passed the same process that Budget Repair Bill was and that is unconstitional and a judge couldn't stop it. I am stating this badly, but sound like a case of wanting to eat thier cake and keep it too, but them I am not a lawyer.

Greg divatix@twitter

illusory tenant said...

Sounds like a case of wanting to eat their cake and keep it too.

Yep they're throwing everything and anything they can dream up. At one point JBVH claimed no law was in effect unless and until it was "published" by the Legislative Reference Bureau, despite the fact State government passed and ratified legislation for several decades before there even was such a thing as the Legislative Reference Bureau.