Wisconsin Radio Network: Governor could challenge National Guard deployments

By Andrew Beckett
Wisconsin Radio Network
March 10, 2010

Proposed legislation at the state Capitol that would allow the governor to challenge deployment orders for the Wisconsin National Guard is drawing some concerns from lawmakers.

The bill from state Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison) would give the Governor the power to contest orders to deploy Guard troops overseas, if he believes the conflict isn’t authorized by Congress. The Governor could take a challenge to the federal court and ask for a deployment to be stopped.

During a Capitol hearing for the bill Tuesday, state Representative Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) questioned why governors should be given oversight on a process that’s already closely examined on the federal level. Schneider says the bill would basically allow the Governor to question the actions of the federal government.

Representative Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) also worries that a federal court could delay a mobilization based on a challenge, resulting in deployed troops being denied back-up. He says it could put those on the battlefield at risk.

Representative Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River) also questioned the motivations behind the bill, asking if the proposal is just intended to address opposition to unpopular wars. Tuesday’s hearing drew testimony from several war opponents.

The bill is being considered by the Assembly Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs.