The Latest: Wisconsin Democrats sue over lame-duck law

The Wisconsin Democratic Party is filing a federal lawsuit challenging Republican-authored lame-duck laws that limit Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul's powers

MADISON, Wis. -- The Latest on labor unions' lawsuit challenging Wisconsin Republicans' lame-duck law (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party is filing a federal lawsuit challenging Republican-authored lame-duck laws that limit Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul's powers.

The party filed the lawsuit Thursday in Madison. It alleges that the law violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of a republican form of government, free speech and equal protection.

The law prohibits Evers from ordering Kaul to withdraw Wisconsin from lawsuits and requires Kaul to get permission from lawmakers before agreeing settlements. It also shifts settlement awards from Kaul's office to the state's general fund.

A group of liberal-leaning organizations and a coalition of labor unions have filed separate lawsuits challenging the law in state court.

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11 a.m.

Wisconsin's Democratic attorney general says he won't defend a lame-duck law that Republicans passed to limit his powers in a lawsuit that labor unions filed this month challenging the measure.

Attorney General Josh Kaul's assistants filed court documents Feb. 15 saying his office has a substantial interest in the case's outcome and that this creates a conflict. The documents say Kaul's office believes the law is unconstitutional.

Republicans have already selected a private attorney.

The law prohibits Gov. Tony Evers from ordering Kaul to withdraw from lawsuits without the Legislature's permission and requires Kaul to get the Legislature's budget-writing committee's permission before agreeing settlements.

A coalition of labor unions filed a lawsuit this month challenging the law, naming Evers and Kaul as defendants. Evers filed an affidavit Wednesday saying he agrees with the unions.

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8:55 a.m.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says a judge should suspend Republicans' lame duck law limiting his powers.

Labor unions filed a lawsuit this month challenging the law, which prohibits Evers from pulling the state out of lawsuits without legislative approval and requires state agencies to take down publications explaining how they interpret state law by July unless they send the documents through a public comment period. The unions want a temporary restraining order blocking the law.

The lawsuit names Evers as a defendant, but on Wednesday he filed an affidavit saying he supports the unions.

Evers argues the law violates separation of powers principles and hampers his ability to direct litigation. He also contends state agencies won't be able to update their publications by July 1 and many documents will disappear.