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GOP Bill Would Nullify Wis. Judges' Injunctions

They passed a law that year allowing people to challenge state agency rules in their home county or the county where the dispute arose rather than in Madison. They also tucked a clause into a bill overhauling the state's mining regulations requiring people to file challenges to permitting decisions in the county where the mine would be located instead of Madison.

Stung by the union and voter ID rulings, Senate President Mike Ellis in February began circulating a bill that would require the state Supreme Court to take up constitutional challenges to state laws directly, removing lower courts from the process completely. A four-justice conservative majority currently controls the high court.

A message left at Ellis' office Wednesday seeking an update on the bill's status wasn't immediately returned.

Under Craig's bill, an attorney could stay a trial judge's order blocking a state law from taking effect by filing an appeal to an appellate court or the state Supreme Court within 10 days. That automatic stay would remain in place until the appellate court or Supreme Court lifted it or disposed of the case through a final order. If an appellate court found the law invalid and lifted the stay, the losing side could reinstate it by asking the Supreme Court to take the case.

Craig and Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, the bill's lead sponsor in the Senate, sent an email to their fellow legislators on Wednesday searching for co-sponsors. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Burlington, supports the bill, spokeswoman Kit Beyer said.

"He agrees with the bill authors that one county judge should not make the decisions for an entire state," Beyer said in an email to The Associated Press.

Tom Evenson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, didn't immediately return a message. A Walker spokesman said only that the governor would review the bill if it got to his desk.

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