In yet another sign of the insanity that is gripping the state’s conservatives and the GOP in general, the Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday struck down the state’s “Safe-at home” law, thus creating increased confusion over how residents of the state should deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
By a 6-3 vote, the court sided with the leaders of the Republican-controlled state legislature who challenged an attempt by the state’s executive branch, led by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Joining the GOP in challenging the order,which came from the state’s chief public health officer, were numerous business groups and organizations.
If you are legally inclined, check out the the court’s complete Safe at Home decision. Thanks to Ken Knight for providing this from Ed Fallone, the Marquette University law professor who was an unsuccessful candidate for a seat on the state’s top court earlier this year.
Attorney General Josh Kaul has asked Governor Tony Evers to include additional funding in Evers’ budget for more crime lab analysts. In his successful campaign for the post last November, Kaul attacked former Republican Attorney General and now Judge Brad Schimel for well-publicized delays in the processing of evidence from crime scenes.
Evers is currently working on his two-year budget, which the governor expects to unveil on Feb. 28.
Several Republican bills signed by Gov. Scott Walker in December limited both the governor and attorney general’s powers, including eliminating the state Department of Justice’s solicitor general’s office, allowing lawmakers to intervene in state lawsuits and requiring the attorney general to get the Legislature’s approval before settling laws.
In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, new Attorney General Josh Kaul attacked those bills while also saying that his office will do more to address the opioid epidemic and growing meth problem in Wisconsin.
” I’m going to work with law enforcement agencies at the county, local and federal level to improve coordination so that we can work together to target large scale drug traffickers, people who are transporting meth, heroin or fentanyl across county and state lines.
“I’m going to be an advocate for expanding access to substance abuse treatment in Wisconsin. One of the things I’ll be doing as (attorney general) is taking a look at where the multi-state investigation is into the pharmaceutical manufacturers because we need to hold them accountable to the extent that they’ve been responsible for the opioid epidemic through false and deceptive marketing practices.
“And then one other area is we still haven’t expanded Medicaid in Wisconsin. If we do that we’d be able to cover about 80,000 additional Wisconsinites under BadgerCare … and we’d also save the state about $190 million a year. And we can put that into a number of areas, for example expanding access to treatment.”
Attorney General EversSeeking to overturn all the laws passed by the Republican state legislature’s lame-duck session last November, Gov. Tony Evers has hired a private law firm. Evers made the move after Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said his office can’t represent the state on this issue.
Kaul, who repeatedly attacked the GOP’s action, which included taking power away from Kaul’s office, when Kaul was running for the post last fall, recused himself, according to a spokesperson for Evers.