Michigan GOP strips power from Dem officeholders

People protest the legislature's extraordinary session during the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Capitol in Madison Wis. Tuesday Dec. 4 2018. Demonstrators booed outgoing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday during the Christm

GOP Wisconsin State Legislature Passes Bill Limiting Incoming Democratic Governor's Powers. Here's What That Means

The vote by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature to strip power away from the incoming governor and attorney general split for the most part along predictable partisan lines. But Democrats and proponents of the redistricting law say the incoming Democratic secretary of state is perfectly capable of implementing it without intrusion from the GOP-controlled Legislature.

MI voters last month passed a constitutional amendment to have the 13-member commission of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents handle redistricting instead of the partisan Legislature. The sponsor says the bill is different from one the Republican governor vetoed in 2011. Walker has 10 days from when the bills arrived on his desk to make a decision on what to do with them.

Evers said his staff has been reaching out to outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to urge him not to sign the bills into law.

In neighboring Michigan, Republicans who control the Legislature voted to advance a measure that strips campaign-finance oversight power from the next secretary of state, a Democrat. Now he may have to support a lawsuit to get that power back.

From a legal standpoint, it is hard to frame why a legislature would attempt to undermine the power of a properly elected leader who isn't even sitting in the governor's chair yet, Magarian said.

Although Democrats will continue to try to work with Republicans, Wisconsin's Taylor said, "We will not forget this". The measure could ensure the GOP's ability to support laws if Democratic Gov. -elect Gretchen Whitmer and Democratic Attorney General-elect Nessel drop appeals in cases the state loses.

"They have the right to go to court".

Sure, Evers is likely to disagree with "many" of the Republicans in the legislature "believe in", but Evers was duly elected by the voters of the state-something that seems not to enter into Vos' understanding of the situation.

GOP Wisconsin State Legislature Passes Bill Limiting Incoming Democratic Governor's Powers. Here's What That Means

The bills they proposed followed the lead of North Carolina, where Republicans adopted similar legislation over the last two years. Democrats would likely need a permanent injunction to stop the changes for good, but Republicans would nearly certainly pursue appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, which is controlled by conservative justices.

The GOP has controlled the legislatures and the governor's offices in Wisconsin and MI since 2011.

Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson ran on a platform of election transparency, so the legislature basically changed the rules so that that is no longer included in her job description.

This gives the appearance of a concerted national strategy by the Republican Party to assert partisan politics as a matter of rule of law, Magarian said. Other bills would block Evers' ability to withdraw Wisconsin from a federal lawsuit over Obamacare and would limit early voting to no more than two weeks before an election.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has steadily amassed power during his eight-year tenure.

The bills will next head to the state Senate.

"That does raise some questions about whether that essentially violates the separation-of-powers principle", said Paul Nolette, a Marquette University political science professor who served as the legal counsel for the Labor and Workforce Development Committee in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. "We said it 15 times every single day", Ever said in an interview Tuesday evening on CNN before legislators voted to curb the authority of both the incoming governor and attorney general. In an interview with a conservative radio station Monday, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald warned that Evers will have "absolutely the most liberal administration that we have ever seen in the state of Wisconsin".

But, he said, such a ruling is "unlikely in political reality".

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