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    In Wisconsin, All Senate Votes Must Take Place In Front Of Screaming Mobs

    In Wisconsin, All Senate Votes Must Take Place In Front Of Screaming Mobs

    That apparently is where the case is heading.

    According to reports, the testimony before Judge Sumi this morning regarded, in part, the fact that the March 9 Senate Committee meeting to re-work the budget bill (because 14 Democrats had fled), took place in a small room which only could hold 20 spectators, and access to the Capitol was restricted to a single entrance for crowd control purposes (and even then, a closed entrance was breached).

    This, the Democratic District Attorney who brought the lawsuit claims, was a breach of the Open Meetings Law and even Senate Rules.  The D.A. called a witness to testify that 3000 people wanted to attend but were denied, as reported by JSOnline:

    Nearly 3,000 people tried to get into a key March 9 legislative conference committee meeting, but were unable to do so, a witness testified Friday in Dane County Circuit Court.

    Rich Judge, chief of staff to Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), said 2,967 signed their names on a spontaneous petition when they couldn’t get into the meeting where Republican legislators quickly passed a controversial portion of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill. The petition was dropped off at Barca’s office.

    Clearly, the committee meeting should have taken place in a stadium, so that all these people — who trapped a Republican Senator outside the Capitol on March 1, could have attended:

    Update 3:45 p.m. Eastern – The court concluded the hearing. No ruling was made as to whether there was an Open Meeting Violation (and thus no court ruling on the D.A.’s charges with regard to room and building access), but the Judge continued the TRO against the Secretary of State until the case concludes saying she had heard nothing that would cause her to vacate the TRO.

    This means that the “temporary” injunction will remain for at least several weeks, because the necessary parties, namely the legislators, have immunity during and for a period of time before and after the legislative session which starts next week. The Court requested briefing on that issue and the merits of the case, with the final briefs not due for about 7 weeks.

    I hate to make gloomy predictions, but based on the court rulings so far, it is likely Judge Sumi will find an Open Meetings Violation.

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    I agree with Rick that Republican timidity, or even timorousness, is maddening. They always seem so afraid, whereas the Democrats simply don't care a fig as the run roughshod over the rule of law.

    Part of the problem is they know the media deck is stacked, and another part is that they know the unionized employees will be breathing down their necks for years to come.

    Still, at some point, if they don't get it together, they'll fade away like the Whigs and be replaced by much more militantly fiscal conservative party.

    "…you can expect to see a mass exodus of those who do NOT belong to the public sector unions and who are willing to take their businesses to RTW states."

    I said something similar several days ago. What sane business owner would consider locating or expanding a business in Wisconsin knowing the public employees want to harm your business if you don't support the public employee demands? Even the police unions are demanding that businesses support the public employee unions or face boycott.

    How can a business be sure the police will diligently investigate crimes committed against it if the business doesn't explicitlly support the public union? It strikes me as similar to the "protection rackets" practiced by the mobs of yesteryear. Or maybe the fire department won't respond quickly to an emergency if a business doesn't explicitly support the public employee demands.

    The public employee protestors (I'm sure not all public employees are sympathetic with the protestors) have created the impression that Wisconsin is hostile to business. A business owner with expansion plans would have to be insane to locate there rather than a business friendly state.

    "In other words, recent precedent of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin strongly suggests that courts are not free at all to examine the purely internal workings of the legislative process, including interpreting the compliance or non-compliance with legislative rule(s), except insofar as those rules may impinge on constitutional requirements. "

    But this isn't a matter of following internal rules. It's a matter of following the law. The open meetings law is not an internal rule for the legislative body. It's a law, it has the power of law, and it must therefor be under the purview of the courts.

    But this isn't a matter of following internal rules. It's a matter of following the law. The open meetings law is not an internal rule for the legislative body. It's a law, it has the power of law, and it must therefor be under the purview of the courts.

    State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, 338 N.W.2d 684 (1983) was also about a statute. The court said: "Because we conclude this court will not determine whether internal operating rules or procedural statutes have been complied with by the legislature in the course of its enactments, we do not address the question of whether sec. 13.49(6), Stats., applies to this legislation.

    The case Sumi referred to, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel v. Department of Administration, 768 N.W.2d 700 (2009), wasn’t about the legislative process used to pass a law, it was about the resultant law — or, more specifically, absence of a law. No law was passed that made the changes to the open record law that were specified by the collective bargaining agreement. That wasn’t merely a statutory violation; it violated the Wisconsin constitutional requirement that all laws be enacted by bills. The defendants argued that the legislature's power to make its own rules extended to the power to enact bills by including them by reference in other bills. The court, except for Abrahamson, rejected that argument.

    Why is it, in this supposed two party system, we conservatives always end up behind the eight ball? It seems no matter what we do to try and move the country back to the center we are blocked by some liberal tactic.

    The left always seems to have an out and we end up standing there with our proverbial (enter your favorite here) in our hands?

    On the other hand, as with the likes of Obamacare, they just push ahead with their agenda and we just have to swallow hard.

    It's about time we catch a break!!


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