Wisconsin federal judge delays settlement of issue advoacy lawsuit
By Kyle Maichle
MADISON, Wisconsin: Western District of Wisconsin federal judge William Conley declined to approve a settlement reached between legal counsel representing the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board along with One Wisconsin Now and the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
The judge ordered attorneys on both sides to file briefs arguing if federal courts are the proper forum to hear the case. The briefs are due on August 19, 2010. This will determine if the case would be tossed out if the State Supreme Court accepts a similar case filed by Americans for Prosperity. Both sides were also asked to argue the merits of allowing more litigants in the case citing the broad impact of the issue ad rule.
Despite the settlement not being authorized, Kevin Kennedy of the Government Accountability Board told WisPolitics that the agreement to not enforce provisions of the issue ad rule remains in effect. The lead counsel of the state's election authority said: "while we don't have a resolution, I think what we do have is an understanding of what the position of the Government Accountability Board is based on the advice of its counsel."
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has not said if they would accept the case filed by Americans for Prosperity.