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Tool of the Week: Josh Kaul, the left’s legal errand boy

Empower Wisconsin  | July 5, 2022

MADISON — In his 3 1/2 years in office, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has been a legal errand boy for the left.

Instead of defending the laws of the state and its people (or even upholding his oath to the constitution), the Democrat has turned the Department of Justice into a liberal activist lawsuit factory — picking and choosing what laws to defend, and what laws to attack.

Kaul was at it again last week, filing a lawsuit looking to kill Wisconsin’s oldest abortion ban.

The law, which dates back to early statehood, was effectively frozen for nearly 50 years following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling federalizing abortion protections. The recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe and leaving abortion laws up to the states, brought Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion law back to life.

In a weaselly legal move, Kaul argues that ban has been supplanted by more recent abortion restrictions passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature but not enforced because of Roe. A 2015 ban on abortion after 20 weeks and others would be less restrictive than the 1849 law. Kaul contends the statutes “directly conflict with each other” and that it is “well settled that the older law cannot be enforced.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said he’s confident the courts will see through Kaul’s tactics and uphold the law.

“Abortion isn’t health care and for the governor and attorney general to try and use the courts to enact law is just as wrong as the original Roe v Wade decision over 50 years ago,” Vos said.

But defenders of the law will have to get through Dane County Circuit Court first. The left’s legal errand boy filed his lawsuit in one of the most liberal courts in the country.

In another case last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected another taxpayer-funded lawsuit brought by Kaul. The court ruled that Fred Prehn may keep his seat on the Natural Resources Board.

Kaul sued to force Prehn, an appointee of former Gov. Scott Walker, to step down and be replaced by Democrat Gov. Tony Evers’ liberal appointee.

Prehn, previously the chairman of the seven-member Natural Resources Board, refused to leave the post until the Republican-controlled Senate confirmed his replacement. The Senate has declined to do so.

The court in its 4-3 ruling held that Kaul is wrong on the law. The majority opinion points to a nearly 60-year-old state Supreme Court ruling finding that an appointee need not retire until the Senate confirms their successor.

Kaul pursued the lawsuit to the Supreme Court despite losing on the same grounds in liberal Dane County Circuit Court.

That’s what legal errand boys do. And Kaul has done it over and over, losing many times along the way. From defending Evers’ illegal lockdowns and mask mandates to his partisan lawsuits attacking the border wall and American energy independence, he has routinely done the bidding of the left.

That’s not what real attorneys general do. But Kaul is not a real attorney general. He’s a tool of the left.

And this week he is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.

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