Arguments scheduled in Wis. budget suit

Jessica M. Karmasek May 5, 2011, 9:46am


MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in an order Wednesday, has set oral arguments in the ongoing legal challenge to Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill.

The Court will decide whether a judge had the authority to block the implementation of Walker's budget bill.

Arguments will be held at 9:45 a.m. June 6, according to the two-page order.

The governor's bill has been a source of controversy for months now, eliminating nearly all collective bargaining rights for those public employee union members. Walker, a Republican, had proposed the measure in response to state budget deficits.

However, the law cannot go into effect because of a temporary restraining order put in place in March by Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi.

Sumi, in her ruling March 18, will not allow Secretary of State Doug La Follette to publish the law. She says a legislative committee violated the state's Open Meetings Law when it approved a new version of the governor's budget bill on March 9.

In its order Wednesday, the Court also requested that the respondents in the case, including the Dane County Circuit Court, each file a response to the petition for supervisory writ and for immediate temporary relief, with a supporting memorandum, on the issue of whether the Court should accept jurisdiction over the petition for supervisory writ and on the merits of the issues raised in the petition.

Their responses, the Court said, must be filed on or before May 18.

The petitioners -- i.e. the State of Wisconsin -- shall file a single reply to the responses on or before May 27, the Court ordered.

The Court also ordered that, in addition to addressing the issues raised in the petition for supervisory writ, the responses and reply shall address the following:

- Whether the petition for supervisory writ should be dismissed because petitioners are not parties to the underlying action in the circuit court;

- Whether the petition for supervisory writ should be recast as a petition for original action publici juris, and if recast, whether the parties should be realigned;

- Whether all respondents have been served with the petition for supervisory writ;

- Whether any of the respondents intend to raise any issues or objections regarding service of the petition for supervisory writ, including immunity;

- Whether the Department of Justice represents Jeff Fitzgerald, Scott Fitzgerald, Michael Ellis, Scott Suder, the Joint Committee on Conference, the Wisconsin Senate, and/or the Wisconsin Assembly, as it does in the circuit court; and

- Whether the Circuit Court for Dane County is represented by counsel and, if so, by whom.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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