Justice Turned Upside Down as Assembly GOP Rushes to Pass Another Power Grab

Lower Courts May No Longer Be Able to Protect Citizens' Rights, Block Enactment of Unconstitutional Power Grabs

MADISON, Wis. — Seeking to stack the deck in favor of their power grabs, Assembly Republicans are expected to pass legislation today that would prevent lower courts from blocking enforcement of unconstitutional laws. Instead, enactments of questionable constitutionality, like those making it more difficult to vote and stripping workplace rights could be enforced, and rights potentially denied, until the appeals process concludes.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said, “The Republican legislature’s latest assault on democracy treats our state constitution as an inconvenience to be avoided, not the guarantor of our rights as citizens that they swore an oath to uphold.”

Courts have acted to protect the rights of Wisconsin residents and uphold the state constitution in the face of several power grabs passed by the GOP controlled legislature and signed into law by Gov. Walker. Currently, enforcement of a voter ID law that could keep an estimated 300,000 legal voters from casting a ballot and portions of the infamous Act 10 that stripped 175,000 workers of rights in their place of employ are suspended based on lower court rulings.

Under the bill before the Assembly today, courts could no longer protect the rights of citizens, as they have done in these cases, by preventing the enforcement of laws until a final determination has been made on their constitutionality. According to Ross, this legislation literally turns the system of justice on its head in Wisconsin, allowing rights to be denied for months or years based on unconstitutional legislative enactments.

He concluded, “It seems the Republican’s quest for power knows no bounds. They’re trampling on our court system in their rush to trample our rights, all in service of their quest for political power. Shame on them.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.