So the Wisconsin Senate has ordered the arrest of the Senate Democrats:
Senate Republicans Thursday ordered the arrest of their 14 Democratic colleagues, who fled the state two weeks ago to avoid a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill.
It's unclear whether the resolution to force the senators back to the Capitol is constitutional. The state Constitution prohibits the arrest of legislators while in session unless they're suspected of committing felonies, treason or breach of the peace.
Democrats say the Republicans have overreached, and have consulted an attorney for an opinion on whether the GOP actions are legal.
"The Republicans have gone around the bend," said Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee. "They've just increased their bullying tactics and are producing an even greater divide in our state."
James Troupis, a private attorney hired by Fitzgerald, contended Thursday that the move is legal. He cited a portion of the state Constitution that provides that each house "may compel the attendance of absent members."
But Wisconsin police are saying they won't and can't enforce this. I am so used to authoritarian cops who don't give a damn about anyone else's rights that I'm deeply impressed by the Wisconsin cops who are refusing to allow themselves to be used against the governor's political opponents. Let's hear it for Jim Palmer!
Wow. Let’s hear it for the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. Today the organization slammed Senate Republicans after they ordered the detention of 14
Democratic Senators staying in Illinois “with or without force.” Here’s the statement by these defenders of civil liberties and democracy:
Politics aside, encouraging the forcible detention of duly elected lawmakers
because they won’t allow you to dictate with a free hand is an unreasonable
abuse of police power,” said WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer. “Due to the fact that Wisconsin officers lack any jurisdiction across state lines, does Senator Fitzgerald intend to establish a ‘lawmaker border patrol? The thought of using law enforcement officers 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.