October 31, 2012

Another Dane Country judge smacks down Gov. Walker.

"Gov. Scott Walker's power to oversee the rule-making authority of the state superintendent of public instruction, which he signed into law last year, was overturned Tuesday by a judge because the law violates the state constitution."

Who will superintend the superintendents? If it's the superintendent of public instruction, apparently, nobody, because "the superintendent of public instruction... is unique among state department heads in having his duties spelled out in the state constitution."

23 comments:

Quayle said...

Wow, a forth branch of government.

chickelit said...

This is garage mahal's wet dream coming true.

chickelit said...

Quayle said...
Wow, a forth branch of government.

Nice pun on Obama's progressive slogan: The Forth Branch!


alan markus said...

Isn't there some area of the state that could benefit economically from having the Capitol moved out of Madison?

TosaGuy said...

I saw it was a Dane County judge and will reserve my opinion on this until a real judge rules.

The best way for a Dane County judge to lose reelection is to uphold something regarding Gov. Walker....even it is a State Hug a Puppy Day proclamation.

SteveR said...

All judges in Dane County are members of the Ninth Circuit it seems.

EDH said...

"Who will superintend the superintendents?"

The superintendent is elected by the people of Wisconsin in a nonpartisan statewide ballot during the Spring primary of the same odd-numbered years that voters select members of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. The superintendent serves a term of office of four years.

The superintendent's responsibilities include providing leadership for Wisconsin's public school districts; provide the public with information about school management, attendance, and performance; licensing the state's teachers; and receive and disburse federal aid for schools.

In the case Thompson v. Craney, 199 Wis. 2d 674, 546 N.W.2d 123 (1996), the Supreme Court of Wisconsin declared that the Governor of Wisconsin could not reallocate or diminish the powers of the state Superintendent of Public Instruction by appointing a new Secretary of Education in charge of a Department of Education.

MadisonMan said...

I read a blurb in the paper that the AFT is merging with WEAC, maybe, so Wahoo! I get to become a member of that esteemed group.

I am so thrilled.

traditionalguy said...

The Danes are in rebellion. What's new?

purplepenquin said...

Who will superintend the superintendents?

The article states that prior to this new law, the superintendent had to have the rules approved by the Legislative Branch. (The new law, which was struck down, gave the Governor the power to veto/change any proposed rules before they were submitted for approval.) I don't see anything at all that suggests the requirement for Legislative approval will change.

If such a provision is in the ruling, can someone please point it out? Thanks.

Methadras said...

If legislation isn't to your liking, why just litigate it.

دردشة ومنتديات عراقنا said...

شات عراقنا
دردشة عراقنا
جات عراقنا

George Grady said...

According to Article X of Wisconsin's constitution:

------------

Superintendent of public instruction. Section 1. [As amended Nov. 1902 and Nov. 1982] The supervision of public instruction shall be vested in a state superintendent and such other officers as the legislature shall direct; and their qualifications, powers, duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law. The state superintendent shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and in the same manner as members of the supreme court, and shall hold office for 4 years from the succeeding first Monday in July. The term of office, time and manner of electing or appointing all other officers of supervision of public instruction shall be fixed by law. [1899 J.R. 16, 1901 J.R. 3, 1901 c. 258, vote Nov. 1902; 1979 J.R. 36, 1981 J.R. 29, vote Nov. 1982]

This section confers no more authority upon school officers than that delineated by statute. Arbitration Between West Salem & Fortney, 108 Wis. 2d 167, 321 N.W.2d 225 (1982).

The legislature may not give any "other officer" authority equal or superior to that of the state superintendent. Thompson v. Craney, 199 Wis. 2d 674, 546 N.W.2d 123 (1996), 95-2168.

------------


The judge probably relied on the case Thompson v. Craney, as the italicized note at the bottom indicates. Whether that case was correctly decided is another issue.

I assume that that's Tommy Thompson there?

Inga said...

When laws violate the State Consitution they are in danger of being overturned and for good reason. Why was it done in the first place? Power grab?

How much taxpayer money will these appeals cost us?

John Foster said...

Does Wisconsin not have a legislature? Does the governor create law and then sign it?

Rabel said...

PP wrote:

"The article states that prior to this new law, the superintendent had to have the rules approved by the Legislative Branch. (The new law, which was struck down, gave the Governor the power to veto/change any proposed rules before they were submitted for approval.) I don't see anything at all that suggests the requirement for Legislative approval will change."

This is correct. But pointing that out and pointing out that the judge's quarrel is with the legislature which passed the law rather than with the governor who was enforcing it would tend to negate the screaming headlines about a "Walker power grab."

Carnifex said...

After reading Grady's quoting of the Wi. constitution, this ruling will not hold up. It says right there in black and white that the legislature will direct their powers and duties. If the legislature directs that the Supervisor must submit his rules to the Governor, then he must submit his rules to the governor. Lefties have a basic mis-understanding of the English language. They all glom onto something that they say is this, until a republican uses that to bite them in the ass, and then the lefties all cry "NO! NO! NO! It didn't mean that...it means this!" Just as long as they can have their way no matter what.

Just ask he Dread Traitor Roberts.

Rabel said...

If the judge's interpretation of the constution is valid with respect to the law which gave the governor veto power over rules proposed by the superintendent of education, why would it not also apply to law which gives the legislature the same veto power?

If the answer is that the constitution allows the legislature to determine the powers and duties of the superintendent, then why doesn't that right of determination include the right to subject the exercise of his powers and duties to review by the chief executive?

Answer: It does. The judge's ruling is political rather than judicial.

Eric said...

I'm hardly a Walker opponent, but this seems like a pretty reasonable decision to me. For one thing, it seems to me the legislature is overstepping its authority by circumscribing the powers of a constitutionally provisioned office.

Also, what's the point of having an elected superintendent if he can't do anything without the governor's permission? Seems fine for appointments, but usually you create an elected position to give the officeholder independence from other officeholders.

hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hombre said...

Assuming the law is correctly stated at 12:25:

What Rabel said at 1:14!

Hagar said...

Being a citizen of New Mexico, I am hardly in a position to throw rocks about "bedsheet" state constitutions, but a separateely elected Superintendent of Schools ...

Wow!

James Pawlak said...

Right or wrong the following fact must be considered: The voters of Dane County have more power than the citizens of the other counties as only they elect the judges who make the initial rulings on such matters.

It would be better to have all such cases heard by "constitutional courts" made up of three judges randomly selected from appeals court justices (With not more than one from any judicial district).