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On November 6, 2018, Wisconsinites used the power of their vote to communicate their desire for change. As a result, voters elected replacements for both the incumbent governor and incumbent attorney general—positions that have incredible power over state law, enforcement of statutes, and election integrity. Shortly after the election, the outgoing Wisconsin legislature called a special session.

As a historic advocate for voters, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin closely watched the special session as legislators introduced and swiftly passed a number of bills aimed at undermining the authority and power of the newly elected governor and attorney general. In response, LWVWI raised awareness and activated the public to ask their legislators to speak out about the harm of the hasty process.

Following the session, outgoing Governor Scott Walker promptly signed the bills. LWVWI was quick to call out the ways the extraordinary session bills resembled a poorly veiled partisan power grab and continued its work to make sure that the will of the people was protected. Not only was the content of the bills and the swiftness in which they were passed unjust, but, thanks to the diligence of groups like LWVWI, the manner in which the special session was called has come into question. The League stood ready to protect the voice of voters and hold the government accountable to the people of Wisconsin. 

Yesterday, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, along with Disability Rights Wisconsin and Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of the bills passed during the special session. Specifically, the lawsuit contends that, because the Legislature unconstitutionally convened the December 2018 “extraordinary session,” all business conducted during the session is void and unenforceable. The League is requesting that the courts intervene to prevent the harm that these bills cause to the voters of Wisconsin. This case is expected to move forward and be heard sometime before Spring. 

For updates on this important work, follow LWVWI on Twitter or Facebook.