Coyne v. WalkerAnnotate this Case
At issue in this case was 2011 Wisconsin Act 21 (Act 21), which, among other things, amended portions of Wis. Stat. ch. 227, which governs the procedures for administrative rule making and allows the Governor and the Secretary of Administration (Secretary) permanently to halt the rulemaking process. Plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment that Act 21 is unconstitutional as applied to the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). The circuit court permanently enjoined the Governor and Secretary from proceeding under Act with respect to the SPI, concluding that Act 21 is unconstitutional as applied to the SPI because it gives superior authority over public instruction to officers who are not subordinate to the SPI. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Act 21 unconstitutionally vests the Governor and Secretary with the supervision of public instruction in violation of Wis. Const. art. X, 1 because it does not allow the SPI and DPI to proceed with their duties of supervision without the Governor’s, and in some circumstances, the Secretary’s approval.