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GOP Bill Would Nullify Wis. Judges' Injunctions

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, accused Republicans of altering the balance of power between the Legislature and the judicial branch.

Janine Geske, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice and now a Marquette University law professor, called the bill "an outrageous interference with the judicial process. (Judges are) the check and balance on the Legislature and the governor's office that is critical to a democracy."

Craig insisted the bill doesn't curtail judges' power. They could still issue injunctions, he said.

Ryan Owens, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political science and law professor who specializes in separation of powers, said the Legislature can impose procedural requirements on judges.

"I don't see this as an egregious affront to judicial independence," he said. "This is the Legislature just trying to take some power back. That's understandable. If it's something the upper courts have a real problem with, they can just make a habit of re-imposing (the lower judges') stay."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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