Wisconsin Appeals Court Restores Laws from Lame-Duck Session

A Wisconsin appeals court on Wednesday reinstated laws Republicans passed during a lame-duck session to weaken the Democratic governor and attorney general, but the statutes remain blocked because of a ruling in a separate case.

Multiple liberal-leaning groups have challenged the laws in separate lawsuits. Last week Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess blocked the statutes, finding lawmakers convened illegally when they passed them.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals essentially wiped out that ruling Wednesday by granting a GOP request for a stay. The court said Niess underestimated Republicans’ chances for success on appeal as well as the harm that blocking potentially valid legislation can cause.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos issued a joint statement Wednesday praising the decision, saying the rule of law has prevailed. Evers issued a statement saying he’s confident the lame-duck laws will ultimately fall.