State Supreme Court rules in favor of state superintendent

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that our state superintendent could hire his own attorney in a case brought against him by Governor Scott Walker.

Evers prevails over Walker in suit.
In an election-year blow against Gov. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled State Superintendent Tony Evers may choose his own attorney in a suit challenging authority to write education policies. Read the decision.

Background: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, known for filing anti-union and anti-educator lawsuits across the state, argued in the suit Evers should be subject to a new law that requires agency heads to seek permission from Walker before writing new rules and regulations. Evers says the new law does not apply to his office because he is a constitutional officer, unlike most agency leaders, and because a previous Supreme Court ruling on a similar question upheld his independent authority.

Walker had tried to block Evers from picking his own lawyer, and Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel (who is also up for re-election in November) had assigned Department of Justice lawyers who disagreed with Evers’ stance in the case. But the conservative-controlled court said Evers could not be required to be represented by DOJ and that Walker is not a party to the case.

What’s next: Evers will now select his own attorney. Evers celebrated the victory, but noted he expects the challenges to the state superintendent’s independent authority to continue.