State News

Evers’ removal of Walker-nominated appointees shows true colors of split government

After lame duck legislative bills are deemed unconstitutional in Dane County court, Gov. Tony Evers rescinded 82 appointments made by former Gov. Scott Walker last year. 

Image By: Betsy Osterberger

Gov. Tony Evers rescinded 82 appointees nominated during the lame duck December legislative session by former Gov. Scott Walker, once again putting the Republican-held Legislature at odds with the Governor.

Evers was able to remove these appointees only after Dane County judge Richard Niess invalidated the legislation put into place during the late extraordinary sessions, deeming them unconstitutional. 

The court ordered temporary injunction on the laws implemented during the December special session further exemplifies a lack of bipartisanship and power struggle that continues to infringe on the split government. 

Some Republican legislators believe Evers has “missed the mark” by removing the Walker-nominated appointees, saying the action only serves to further his own party’s power.

“The vast majority of these appointees are everyday Wisconsin citizens without a political agenda,” said Senator Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg in a press release. “Governor Evers’ actions reveal a partisan approach that places his agenda ahead of good government and the smooth operation of the board and commissions on which these appointees serve.”

Many Republican leaders are appealing the ruling by Judge Niess — if overturned, it would re-appoint the 82 positions immediately. 

“We absolutely believe that these nominees were nominated and confirmed legally and will continue to serve in those positions once the constitutionality of the extraordinary session is upheld," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, tweeted. 

However, Evers believes the court rulings reflect a last minute Republican “power grab.” His spokeswoman says he will be “acting quickly” to fill the positions he has removed, potentially re-appointing some of the same people.

“For the second time in less than a week, an impartial judge ruled against legislative Republicans and their lame duck session. It is now abundantly clear that the lame duck session was nothing more than an illegal power grab intended to override the will of the people,” said Evers in a press statement. “It is time to move beyond this chapter and work together to build a Wisconsin that puts the people first.”

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