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WI Supreme Court rules that Republican Nat. Resources Board member can remain in place despite his term ending

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The ruling all but ensures that Republicans in the state Senate will continue to avoid confirming slates of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' appointees.




MADISON – Frederick Prehn can remain on the state's Natural Resources Board beyond the expiration of his term, under a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling issued Wednesday.



In the ruling, Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler said in the majority opinion that the expiration of a term does not create a vacancy, meaning that holdovers in any position appointed by the governor can remain until a confirmation hearing is held by the state Senate.

According to the ruling, vacancies are only created by death, resignation or the removal of an incumbent



"It is undoubtedly true that Prehn serves a defined term of office, and it is accepted that Prehn's term expired in May 2021," the majority wrote in the decision. "However, those realities say nothing about whether there is now a 'vacancy' in Prehn's DNR Board position."


The natural extension of this is:

  • Republican governor appoints everyone to their positions in a state
  • Democrat wins governorship, nominates replacements as terms expire
  • Republican-controlled (or at least filibustered) legislature refuses to hearings on new nominees
  • Existing appointees stay in power forever, or until the next Republican gubernatorial victory
  • Guillotine 1
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  • CitizenVectron changed the title to WI Supreme Court rules that Republican Nat. Resources Board member can remain in place despite his term ending

If only there was some kind of precedence to avoid stuff like this, something like Marbury v Madison, which kind of gives the Supreme Court its complete justification for existing. But unfortunately, I just can't put my finger on a case like Marbury where something like this might have already been decided on the federal level and with those pesky amendments might also apply to state constitutions.

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the actual logical conclusion to "term ends but it doesn't create a vacancy" is that the position is eliminated, not that the incumbent can serve indefinitely.


but that requires judges to not be hacks.


all proof positive that elected judges are no different than unelected judges.

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