Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes a blow to Democratic governor

It’s another legal defeat for Wisconsin Democrats.

The Daily Caller reports that the Supreme Court of Wisconsin has just ruled against Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D), blocking one of his appointments. 

Background

The story centers around an appointed position on Wisconsin’s Board of Natural Resources.

This position has been occupied by Frederick Prehn, a Republican appointee. Evers wants to change this by replacing Prehn with a provisional appointee.

So, the question is whether Evers, under Wisconsin law, can make such a move. Can Evers just kick a Republican appointee out and replace him with a provisional appointee for no other reason than that he wants to do so?

The court battle

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) has tried to get the Wisconsin Supreme Court to give Evers the go-ahead.

Kaul’s main argument was twofold: that Prehn unlawfully held onto his position on the board even after his term expired on May 1, 2021, and that Evers, as governor, has the authority to remove Prehn without cause because his position on the board offers no special protections.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has now rejected Kaul’s arguments. The court has ruled that, for one thing, the expiration of Prehn’s term does not create an automatic vacancy, and, for another thing, Prehn can’t be removed without cause.

The result of all of this is that the court has blocked Evers from replacing Prehn with a provisional appointee. So, if Evers wants to get rid of Prehn, he either has to have cause to remove him or the state senate has to approve the governor’s appointment.

Evers responds

Following the ruling, Evers put out a statement alleging that state Republicans are trying to disrupt Democracy.

He said:

Today, I remind the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Republican Party of this state that we do still live in a democracy, a very basic function of which is the peaceful and respectful transfer of power, even – and most especially – when you lose. [My appointees] should be considered on their merit, and should have the opportunity to serve the people of our state, regardless of whether or not they were appointed by a Democrat or share the same ideas as Republicans in the Legislature.

Evers and his fellow Democrats, apparently, don’t believe in checks and balances.

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