Judge finds lame-duck settlement language unconstitutional

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge has decided that provisions in contentious Wisconsin lame-duck legislation that gives the Republican-controlled Legislature the power to approve or reject the attorney general's settlement proposals are unconstitutional.

Republican lawmakers passed requirements during a lame-duck session in 2018 that require Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul to seek approval from the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee before settling cases.

Kaul filed a lawsuit in November 2020 arguing the law violates the separation of powers doctrine as applied to environmental and consumer protection cases and cases involving the executive branch.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Dane County Circuit Judge Susan Crawford ruled Thursday in Kaul's favor.

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