Scores of Evers’ appointees remain in limbo for confirmation.
Sometimes matters can be legal. And absurd. At the same time.
A Dane County judge last week allowed the Department of Natural Resources board leader to stay in his job until the Wisconsin Senate confirms a successor. The ruling is based on a 1964 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling. The attorney general, who brought the case, says there will be an appeal.
One might assume few people envisioned a situation in which a new governor was elected, then nominated a successor (Sandra Naas) to take over the post when the incumbent’s (Fred Prehn) term expired, but a Senate controlled by the opposing party chose to ignore the appointment.
The net result leaves a holdover from the previous administration in place, months after the term expired. Apparently, that’s where matters will stand until the Senate confirms Naas or, perhaps, someone else subsequently nominated by Gov. Tony Evers. Don’t hold your breath. The Senate inaction preserves the narrow 4-3 majority of Republican appointees.
In fact, more than 150 people nominated by Evers to various posts are still awaiting confirmation as weeks have turned to months and to years. In an obvious sense, it amounts to nullification of the people’s will as expressed in the last gubernatorial election, as the opposing party uses control of the Legislature to thwart a governor of the other party.
Will that be the new norm? Will Democrats, when they win control of the Legislature—eventually, the cycle will turn, as it always does—feel free, and maybe compelled, to nullify a Republican governor’s choices?
This is not good government. Power should not be exercised to block electoral results. It’s a measure of the extreme polarization in America today, and the people shouldn’t stand for it.