Wisconsin Republican Senate Orders Democrats Arrested
Wisconsin Republicans have ordered the arrest of 14 Democrats who have avoided the state to stop a union-busting vote.
It’s unclear whether the resolution and warrants seeking to force the senators back to the Capitol are legal. The state constitution prohibits the arrest of legislators while in session unless they’re suspected of committing felonies, treason or breach of the peace.
However, an attorney for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau (pictured), said rounding up the senators is legal under a constitutional provision that allows the Senate to enforce its own rules.
Democrats say the Republicans are overreaching, and they have consulted an attorney for an opinion on whether the GOP actions are legal.
The Republican resolution give permission to stop and detain any of the 14 Democrats on sight if they return to Wisconsin, but there is no extradition called for in the measure.
The Senate resolution calls for the Senate sergeant at arms to, with or without force, and with or without the help of any law enforcement officers, take missing members into custody and bring them to the Capitol — any time of the day or night.
Republicans don’t even have the police on their side.
Some police — many of whom have marched alongside protesters against Walker’s plan to effectively end collective bargaining for public workers — have already objected to the arrest resolution. Jim Palmer, head of the 11,000 member Wisconsin Professional Police Association, called it an “unreasonable abuse of police power.”
“Due to the fact that Wisconsin officers lack any jurisdiction across state lines, does Sen. Fitzgerald intend to establish a lawmaker border patrol?” Palmer said. “The thought of using law enforcement officer to exercise force in order to achieve a political objective is insanely wrong and Wisconsin sorely needs reasonable solutions and not potentially dangerous political theatrics.”Click here for reuse options!
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