And there is a hearing going on right now in the Dane County Courthouse before Judge Sumi:
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, filed a complaint this month to block the law. He contended that a committee of lawmakers violated the open meetings law when it approved the measure, which was a key step to advancing it to the GOP-controlled Assembly and Senate.... Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi on March 18 said Ozanne's case was likely to succeed and blocked Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law.Meade is in the courtroom — along with a big crowd of anti-Walkerites. I'm in touch via text and will update.
But on Friday, the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau - which was not under the court order - published the law. The director of the reference bureau, Stephen Miller, said Friday that statutes required him to take that step, but that he does not believe the law takes effect until the secretary of state acts. Last week, the Department of Justice appealed Sumi's temporary restraining order. The appeals court panel said the state Supreme Court should take the case, but the high court hasn't ruled on whether it will take it. On Monday, the Department of Justice asked to withdraw its appeal, saying the law had now been published. It also asked Sumi to vacate the temporary restraining order, withdraw Tuesday's hearing and dismiss La Follette from the case.
Ozanne, meanwhile, asked Sumi to declare that the reference bureau's actions did not constitute publication of the law under the state constitution and that the bureau is subject to and had violated the restraining order. He further asked the judge to order the reference bureau to remove the act from the Legislature's website.... Arguments are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Ozanne's case, on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued. But the dispute over publication of the law adds a new wrinkle that the judge could take up.
UPDATE: Meade leaves the hearing, saying: "This is not a job for New Media Meade." The courtroom is full of reporters, and there will be detailed reports of whatever goes on as a result of this hearing which is loaded with legalistic complexities. I'll read that stuff and get back to you later. Briefly, Sumi put aside the argument that the LRB publication has mooted the case and is holding the scheduled hearing.
UPDATE2: Judge Sumi rules against the law again:
But minutes later, outside the court room, Assistant Attorney General Steven Means said the legislation "absolutely" is still in effect....
Sumi noted she has not yet found that lawmakers violated the open meetings law, but noted the Legislature could resolve the matter by passing the bill again. Andrew Welhouse, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), said there are no plans to try to pass the bill again....
[T]he Department of Justice tried to halt the hearing in Sumi's court, saying the law is now in effect and legislators are immune from civil proceedings. But Sumi said the case must continue for now.
"I think the court has a duty to proceed at this point," she said.