A Thought Experiment for Wisconsin

by Steven F. Hayward

Here’s one for Wisconsin legal theorists and practicioners to ponder. While a lot of folks are pointing Governor Walker in the direction of Calvin Coolidge’s firing of the police strikers way back in 1919, there is probably not a legal mechanism for the governor to fire “striking” school teachers. However, what about filing a suit to declare the Democratic legislators who have fled the state to have vacated their legislative seats? They are clearly derelict in their duties to the public. Would there then be a quorum without them to proceed? Or could the governor call new elections to fill their seats, or better still, make emergency appointments?