Wisconsin Republicans Vote to Seize Absent Dems

By Lindsey Boerma

Wisconsin Senate Republicans passed a resolution today ordering police to take their 14 Democratic colleagues who fled the state two weeks ago in a standoff against Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill into custody, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.


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Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald noted that the "call of the house," which allows the Sergeant at Arms to seize and return members who are found guilty of "contempt and disorderly behavior" to the Capitol, is legally different from an arrest. Still, its unanimous passage is the latest escalation in the legislative standoff. On Wednesday, Republican state lawmakers voted to impose a $100-a-day fine on the runaway senators.

Fitzgerald justified the action by saying the Democrats "have pushed us to the edge of a constitutional crisis." But Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, told the State Journal that Republicans have "increased their bullying tactics and are producing an even greater divide in our state."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/03/wisconsin-republicans-vote-to-seize-absent-dems/72003/