A group of Republican legislators - - angered that elected circuit court judges have stayed through injunctions some high-profile GOP measures, such as Voter ID or the Act 10 elimination of public employee collective bargaining - - are planning a breath-takingly arrogant and politically-stupefying solution:
Ending the effect of circuit court injunctions:
Under a measure announced Wednesday, such injunctions would be automatically stayed as soon as they were appealed - meaning the laws would be put back in effect.
The measure is being offered by Rep. David Craig (R-Big Bend), Rep. Al Ott (R-Forest Junction), Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa).In other words, laws deemed illegal or unconstitutional after a judge had done his or job to make sure laws were legal and constitutional would remain in place - - making Wisconsin a place where lawlessness was the law of the land.
Since Scott Walker's election - - a polarizing event, for sure - - Republicans, with certainty, have been willing to manipulate the law for their own partisan advantage.
Checks and balances? Forget it.
* Unhappy with Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson's service as Chief Justice? Amend the State Constitution so the current conservative court majority can elect the Chief Justice and end the constitutionally-proscribed selection method: seniority.
* Unhappy with student and urban election-day turnout because those are generally-Democratic voting blocs? Institute cumbersome and restrictive ID requirements. Cut back registration opportunities. Limit early voting.
* Unhappy with union power and union support of Democratic candidates? End public sector union collective bargaining.
* Unhappy with state agency rule-making authority, and thus the insertion into the process of non-partisan expertise and fresh sets of eyes unattached to special-interest and campaign-donation influences? Transfer the authority to the Governor - - who happens to be a Republican - - but who will not be Governor forever.
Nor will the GOP be in power here forever, which means these exclusionary and self-interested power grabs can and will be turned against the party that created them.
What a power-mad, short-term, self-dealing and eventually self-destructive agenda.