Wisconsin lame-duck Republican legislature approves package limiting power of incoming Democratic Governor, Attorney General.
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the Wisconsin State House and Senate approved a legislative package that, if signed by Governor Scott Walker, will alter established legislative and democratic norms in an attempt to limit the power of the incoming Governor-elect and Attorney General-elect. This legislative reactiveness in opposition to Wisconsin voters’ decisions at the polls echoes similar lame-duck aggression beginning to fester in Michigan and being reawakened in North Carolina. (Remember the shenanigans in 2016?) The short-sighted action of an outgoing majority altering a state government’s balance of powers in response to election results sets a dangerous precedent of institutional instability, and highlights the unaccountable nature of these sessions. Lame-duck legislatures and governors have a duty to respect and uphold the institutional norms they relied upon during their own time of leadership, preserving them for future generations.