Wednesday, November 13th

MADISON - Justices on both sides of the state Supreme Court's ideological spectrum questioned how much power Republican lawmakers could take from the Democratic attorney general, as arguments in a major case began Monday.      

"You can’t take everything away from the attorney general. There’s got to be something that remains," said Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, who is part of the 5-2 conservative majority on the court.  

She made the statement as Misha Tseytlin, an attorney for Republican lawmakers, contended lawmakers had the power to erase all powers belonging to the attorney general. 

Conservative Justice Daniel Kelly agreed with that sentiment, saying the Legislature "can consign (the attorney general) to twiddling his thumbs all day long." But he questioned whether the Legislature could take those powers itself, rather than giving them to officials in the executive branch.

The debate came as the justices began to hear arguments in a lawsuit over lame-duck laws Republicans approved in December that stripped authority from Democratic Gov.