A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday night denied a last-minute petition from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to postpone depositions scheduled for the following day regarding documents related to a taxpayer-funded review of the 2020 election.
In a concurring opinion attached to the 4-3 decision to deny the request, Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote that Vos’ request was “an extraordinary petition we grant only in the rarest of cases.”
He added that the “petition (from Vos) comes nowhere close to meeting” the legal standards required for the high court to intervene and, accordingly, “Following the law here means the petition must be denied.”
The depositions stem from a lawsuit from liberal watchdog group American Oversight, which has been suing Vos for records related to the partisan review of the 2020 vote headed by conservative former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ordered last week that depositions for the Assembly speaker and his lawyer, Steve Fawcett, can go ahead, despite objections from a Vos attorney.
Bailey-Rihn in recent weeks has raised questions about how so few documents related to the review have been turned over. The review has been given a taxpayer-funded budget of $676,000.
"These open records request(s) have been pending for months; thus, additional delay may cause harm in the way of documents being destroyed or becoming stale," Bailey-Rihn wrote in an order denying Vos’ request for postponement. "The citizens of Wisconsin, all of them, deserve open government."
Vos also struck out with the District 3 Court of Appeals on Monday. In a three-page order the court said Vos’ request for postponement “is deficient on its face, and it fails to provide an adequate basis for a stay.”
Vos is scheduled to appear via Zoom at 1 p.m. on Wednesday before an attorney for American Oversight for his deposition.