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Evers rescinds 82 lame-duck Walker appointments

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MADISON, Wis. - Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is rescinding scores of former Republican Gov. Scott Walker's appointments after a judge invalidated their confirmation votes.

Republicans who control the state Senate confirmed 82 Walker appointments in December to ensure they would keep their jobs after Evers took office. The votes came during a lame-duck extraordinary session.

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess ruled Thursday that the session was illegally convened and invalidated all actions lawmakers took during it.

Empowered by the ruling, Evers rescinded the appointments Friday afternoon. His spokeswoman says the positions are now considered vacant.

Some of the higher profile appointees include a pair of University of Wisconsin System regents and Ellen Nowak, chairwoman of the state Public Service Commission.

Republicans asked the 3rd District Court of Appeals on Friday morning to immediately stay Niess' ruling. The court had not ruled as of late Friday afternoon.

Kaul wants to get back into lame-duck lawsuit

In an about-face, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul now wants to be heard in the fight to preserve an injunction blocking Republican-backed laws limiting the powers of both his office and Gov. Tony Evers.

Kaul declined in January to defend Evers, saying the laws affect the state Department of Justice and therefore create a conflict of interest.

But on Friday DOJ sent a letter to the appellate court saying it wants to be heard before a ruling on reinstatement is made, saying it has a unique perspective on the case given its impact on the agency. The department also argues that state law allows the attorney general to be heard when a statute is found unconstitutional.

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