Wisconsin’s Republican legislators are a persistent bunch. Undoubtedly unhappy with rulings like the one handed down by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas late last year, Republicans in the State Assembly have drafted Assembly Bill 161. According to analysis of AB 161 by the Legislative Reference Bureau, AB 161 would change existing state law as relates to injunctions issued by courts.
If my understanding of current state law is correct, a judge (with Judge Colas being a good example) can not only issue a ruling on a matter of law, and that judge can also order a stay preventing said law from going into effect until its fate is decided for good.
Here’s the bill’s analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau:
Generally, under current law, an interlocutory or final judgment issued by a court in an action for an injunction may not be stayed after the entry of the judgment or during the pendency of an appeal. This bill makes an injunction, restraining order, or other order that, upon entry, suspends or restrains the enforcement of any state statute (order) immediately appealable to an appellate court or to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. If a petition for interlocutory review is filed within ten days after the entry of the order, the order is stayed until one of the following occurs:
1. The appellate court or the Supreme Court grants the petition for interlocutory review and subsequently orders that the automatic stay be lifted.
2. The appellate court or the Supreme Court denies the petition for interlocutory review and simultaneously orders that the automatic stay be lifted.
3. Entry of a final and unappealable order disposing of the entire case.
If (when) passed into law by Republican majorities in the State Assembly and State Senate, AB 161 would allow orders issued by judges to be stayed immediately upon a petition for review (appeal) being filed, which in the case of Judge Colas’ 2012 ruling would have meant that the provisions of Act 10 that he ruled were unconstitutional would be in effect, as opposed to having been put to a stop until the constitutionality of those provisions was decided once and for all.
If enacted, AB 161 will serve as yet more proof that when Republicans hell-bent on implementing their radical ideology can’t do things according to the law, they simply change the laws to fit their ideology.