The Latest: Attorney tells court lame-duck session was legal

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The Latest: Attorney tells court lame-duck session was legal
Gov. Tony Evers speaks at a news conference regarding Medicaid expansion as Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, left, stands next to him, at Milwaukee City Hall, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on oral arguments before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a lawsuit challenging Republican-authored lame-duck laws weakening Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul’s powers (all times local):

10:10 a.m.

An attorney representing Republican legislators is telling the state Supreme Court that lawmakers properly convened to pass lame-duck laws weakening Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul’s powers before they took office.

Republicans convened a previously unscheduled extraordinary session in December to pass laws blocking Evers from withdrawing from lawsuits without their permission, forcing Kaul to get their approval to settle lawsuits and giving themselves the right to intervene in lawsuits.

A coalition of liberal-leaning groups filed a lawsuit in January arguing that extraordinary sessions are illegal. A Dane County judge agreed in March and invalidated all actions taken during it. A state appellate court put that ruling on hold while the Supreme Court considers the case.

The Republican legislators’ attorney, Misha Tseytlin, told the justices during oral arguments Wednesday that the Legislature met legally because it never dissolved itself after finishing its scheduled work in the spring of 2018.

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11:15 p.m.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging limits state Republicans placed on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul’s powers during a lame-duck legislative session last year.

Republicans blocked Evers from withdrawing from lawsuits without legislative permission, forced Kaul to get lawmakers’ approval to settle lawsuits and gave themselves the right to intervene in lawsuits.

The session has sparked multiple lawsuits, including one led by the League of Women Voters that’s before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

A Dane County judge ruled in that case in March that the lame-duck session was illegal and invalidated all actions taken during it. But a state appellate court put the ruling on hold and the conservative-controlled Supreme Court took the case.