Wisconsin Democrats attempted a power grab by replacing a Republican appointee. However, the state’s Supreme Court thwarted their efforts.
Wisconsin’s high court ruled that Frederick Prehn could not be replaced in his position on the Wisconsin Board of Natural Resources simply because a Democrat has taken the governorship, the Daily Caller reported. The liberal Democratic Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul brought the suit on behalf of Gov. Tony Evers.
The court ruled 4-3 in Prehn’s favor which rankled the state’s liberals. The board oversees environmental restrictions and they were hoping to overturn previous case law to get Prehn out and a more left-leaning replacement in, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
Prehn was appointed by former GOP Gov. Scott Walker in 2015. Though the new governor has a right to his own appointees, the court agreed he can only do so if the seat is already vacated for cause or the state Senate appoints a replacement meaning Prehn can stay on.
“Josh Kaul and the Tony Evers administration wasted substantial taxpayer dollars in legal fees on a political stunt to satisfy their liberal donor base,” Prehn charged after the ruling. “Their lack of understanding of case law is obvious and that lack of understanding caused many losses, including hours of time, emotion, and cost on this issue.”
Indeed, there is precedent for an appointee staying on through changing administrations. In the early 2000s, Steve Willett and Jim Tiefenthaler Jr. kept their spots on the board through GOP and Democrat governors — but that matters little to the aggrieved governor.
“Today’s decision continues to underscore the erosion of democratic institutions at the hands of Republicans in this state,” Evers said of the decision. “It’s wrongheaded, it’s shortsighted, and it’s politics at its most dangerous.”
Democrats try to game the system by appointing leftists to administrative positions to make regulations. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled it won’t work for them this time, however.