Second Dane County Judge Orders Injunction of Extraordinary Session Legislation

Following an injunction ordered by Dane County Judge Richard Niess in the League of Women Voters v. Knudson case against the 2018 Extraordinary Session laws, a second Dane County judge enjoined provisions of the laws this week in SEIU v. Vos.

Judge Frank Remington’s order partially grants the plaintiffs’ motion for temporary injunction. The order prevents enforcement of provisions of the extraordinary session

  • Requiring legislative approval for the attorney general to discontinue or settle cases.
  • Requiring transparency for agency guidance documents.
  • Allowing the legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to suspend a rule multiple times.

Whereas the League of Women Voters order enjoined the extraordinary session laws in their entirety, the SEIU order found the plaintiffs did not establish sufficiently that a court would find other provisions unconstitutional. Specifically, the SEIU judge left in place provisions

  • Allowing the legislature to intervene and use outside counsel in certain cases.
  • Allowing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to designate an unlimited number of enterprise zones, but requiring approval of the Joint Finance Committee on any new zone.
  • Requiring legislative oversight of agencies applying for federal waivers and seeking to reallocate funds.

The Legislature plans to appeal the order and has already appealed to the Court of Appeals District III for a stay in League of Women Voters.