Tuesday, May 21st

MADISON - Conservatives who control the state Supreme Court expressed skepticism Wednesday that Republican lawmakers acted unconstitutionally when they held a lame-duck session in December to curb the powers of the incoming Democratic governor. 

The high court — controlled 4-3 by conservatives — must decide whether a method lawmakers have used to bring themselves into session for nearly 40 years is valid. GOP legislators contend a ruling against them could cause hundreds of other laws passed since 1980 to fall. 

Some of the conservatives appeared dubious at the notion that lawmakers couldn't hold session whenever they saw fit. 

"Doesn’t (a key provision of the state constitution) mean the Legislature can determine for itself when it meets?" asked Justice Rebecca Bradley. 

Likewise, Justice Daniel Kelly noted the state constitution allows lawmakers to establish their own rules for how they operate. The lawmakers' work schedule "seems to be rules of its own proceedings, doesn’t it?" he asked.