MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) commended the Wisconsin Supreme Court for upholding the December 2018 Extraordinary Session of the legislature and providing the state’s business community with greater regulatory certainty.
WMC filed an amicus brief on May 3, 2019 in League of Women Voters et al v. Evers, et al arguing the state’s highest court should uphold the Extraordinary Session as constitutional. On Friday, the State Supreme Court vacated an order from the Circuit Court for Dane County that found the December 2018 Extraordinary Session unconstitutional.
In its amicus brief, WMC argued, “the Legislature convened the December 2018 Extraordinary Session as it has routinely for almost half a century without any legal concerns raised about the practice. Now the plaintiffs-respondents seek to invalidate the practice of extraordinary sessions themselves, invalidating all the laws passed in the December 2018 Extraordinary Session and every other such session held by the Legislature in the past half century. Invalidating all extraordinary sessions would create great uncertainty for our members, and the regulated community as a whole.”
The brief also argued that the legislature had full constitutional power to meet in an Extraordinary Session, and that “Wisconsin courts have ‘repeatedly held that the power of the state legislature, unlike that of the federal congress, is plenary in nature’ and that it is ‘competent’ to exercise all legislative authority not forbidden by the constitution or delegated to the general government, or prohibited by the constitution of the United States.”
Following the Court’s decision, WMC Senior Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley released the following statement:
“Wisconsin’s legislature has been meeting in extraordinary sessions for decades, and it is unfortunate to see a sudden opposition to this practice simply because the plaintiffs oppose what was legally and constitutionally signed into law. The state’s business community needs certainty when it comes to Wisconsin’s regulatory environment, and we applaud the State Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”