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Court Agrees Walker Law On Education Rules Unconstitutional

Lower Court Ruling From 2012 Upheld

Shawn Johnson/WPR News

A state appeals court upheld a lower court ruling Thursday striking down part of a law that gave Gov. Scott Walker more power over the agency run by State Superintendent Tony Evers.

The appeals court ruled that that the law championed by Walker was an unconstitutional intrusion on the powers of the state superintendent, who is independently elected. The court found that the law effectively gave the governor veto power over drafting administrative rules, which are the fine details of laws.

However, the court wrote, while a governor’s veto of a bill can be overridden by the legislature, Walker’s authority was “not similarly limited” when it came to administrative rules. Walker contended that the law gave him no such power, but the court called that a “premise that ignores reality.”

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The lawsuit, which was brought by members of state and local teachers unions, may yet be appealed to the state Supreme Court. It does not affect the governor’s rulemaking authority over agencies controlled by him.