Thursday, February 21st

News

Attorney General Josh Kaul (left) and Gov. Tony Evers (right)(Photo: File photos)

MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers reversed course on how to handle a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act the same day Attorney General Josh Kaul told the governor he could not withdraw the state from the suit as Evers promised in a televised speech this week.  

In a letter delivered to Evers on Wednesday, Kaul said only the Legislature's finance committee had authority to withdraw Wisconsin from a federal lawsuit to overturn the law. 

Evers in his first State of the State address told a statewide audience he "fulfilled a promise I made to the people of Wisconsin by directing Attorney General (Josh) Kaul to withdraw from a lawsuit that would gut coverage for 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions."

But after Republicans accused Evers of directing Kaul to take an illegal act, and after Kaul said he couldn't withdraw from the suit anyway, Evers reversed course Wednesday and a spokeswoman said he was not directing Kaul to take any action.

MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers reversed course on how to handle a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act the same day Attorney General Josh Kaul told the governor he could not withdraw the state from the suit as Evers promised in televised speech this week.

In a letter delivered to Evers on Wednesday, Kaul said only the Legislature's finance committee had authority to withdraw Wisconsin from a federal lawsuit to overturn the law.

Evers in his first State of the State address told a statewide audience he "fulfilled a promise I made to the people of Wisconsin by directing Attorney General (Josh) Kaul to withdraw from a lawsuit that would gut coverage for 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions."

But after Republicans accused Evers of directing Kaul to take an illegal act, and after Kaul said he couldn't withdraw from the suit anyway, Evers reversed course Wednesday and a spokeswoman said he was not directing Kaul to take any action.

On a summer night in 2017, a police officer conducting a drunken-driving sweep in northeast Wisconsin tried to pull over an SUV after a check showed the owner had a revoked driver’s license. The driver fled. As the officer gave chase, siren blaring, the vehicle blew through multiple stop signs in a residential area.

Concerned about public safety, the officer stopped the pursuit. When police found the vehicle parked later, the driver was nowhere to be found.

The vehicle owner told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that he was not driving the car that day; his ex-girlfriend had been using it for months. He asked that his identity be shielded in this story — we're calling him “David” — because although the case has been dismissed, prosecutors could still refile charges against him.

When David went to retrieve his SUV from the impound lot, he was arrested for felony eluding. The next day, the court commissioner set his bail at $5,000 — more than David could afford.

MADISON - Less than 24 hours after Gov. Tony Evers told a statewide audience he is directing the state's attorney general to withdraw Wisconsin from a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, he reversed himself. 

Evers in his first State of the State address Tuesday said he "fulfilled a promise I made to the people of Wisconsin by directing Attorney General (Josh) Kaul to withdraw from a lawsuit that would gut coverage for 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions."

But after Republicans accused Evers of directing Kaul to take an illegal act, Evers' spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, on Wednesday said Evers "has not directed the attorney general to take any specific course of action; he has simply withdrawn his authority for this lawsuit."

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed laws in December to shift powers from Evers and Kaul to the Legislature, including the power to withdraw from lawsuits. 

Wisconsin is one of 20 states suing in federal court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

MADISON - In a small setback for Democrats, a federal court Wednesday pushed back a gerrymandering trial slated for April, possibly until July. 

The panel of judges ruled, 2-1, to delay the trial until after the U.S. Supreme Court decides cases over election maps for North Carolina and Maryland. Those decisions are expected by June.

"Holding a trial and taking full briefing in these cases before the Supreme Court decides (the other cases) would almost certainly lead to a significant waste of resources for the parties and the court," the majority wrote. 

RELATED: Redistricting legal fight on track to cost Wisconsin taxpayers $3.5 million

The Supreme Court in January agreed to hear arguments in the North Carolina and Maryland cases in March. Soon afterward, Wisconsin GOP lawmakers asked the federal judges to delay the lawsuit here. 

The judges agreed Wednesday to put off trial but said they would allow discovery to continue in the case so a trial could be held soon after the Supreme Court renders its decisions.

MADISON - Less than 24 hours after Gov. Tony Evers told a statewide audience he is directing the state's attorney general to withdraw Wisconsin from a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, he reversed himself. 

Evers in his first State of the State address Tuesday said he "fulfilled a promise I made to the people of Wisconsin by directing Attorney General (Josh) Kaul to withdraw from a lawsuit that would gut coverage for 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions."

But after Republicans accused Evers of directing Kaul to take an illegal act, Evers' spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, on Wednesday said Evers "has not directed the attorney general to take any specific course of action; he has simply withdrawn his authority for this lawsuit."

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed laws in December to shift powers from Evers and Kaul to the Legislature, including the power to withdraw from lawsuits. 

Wisconsin is one of 20 states suing in federal court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

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