ON-Lion Letter
In May, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in a split decision that part of 2011's Act 21 that gave the governor and state legislature more of a role in education-related administrative rulemaking was unconstitutional.  Wisconsin's constitution gives the state Superintendent of Public Instruction authority over the "supervision of public instruction." 

"We are very disappointed in today's decision finding Act 21 unconstitutional as applied to the Superintendent of Public Instruction [SPI]," said Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) president and general counsel Rick Esenberg, who defended the law during oral arguments before the Court.  "In our view, it misapprehends the nature of rule-making and the way in which the Department of Public Instruction actually wields its supervisory authority."

"The path to meaningful change may have become clearer today," however, Esenberg added.  Justice Michael Gableman's lead opinion, according to Esenberg, reaffirms the power of the legislature over the Superintendent.

"[T]he constitution gives the Legislature control over what powers the SPI and the other officers of supervision of public instruction possess in order to supervise public instruction," Gableman's opinion says.  "As a result, the Legislature may give, may not give, and may take away the powers and duties of the SPI and the other officers of supervision of public instruction."

This means that the Superintendent's powers are not unconstrained and he is subject to legislative control with respect to making education policy, according to Esenberg.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports WILL.
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