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Prosecutor says union lawsuit can proceed

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette (left) and Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne talk before a hearing at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison on March 29. (AP Photo/Michael P. King, Pool)

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette (left) and Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne talk before a hearing at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison on March 29. Ozanne, on Thursday, said a lawsuit can continue over Scott Walker's proposed union rights law. (AP Photo/Michael P. King, Pool)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Democratic prosecutor says a lawsuit alleging Republicans violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law in the run-up to passing Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive union rights law can go on despite their immunity claims.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne alleges Republican lawmakers didn’t give proper public notice that a committee was about to meet on the proposal last month. Judge Maryann Sumi has blocked the law from taking effect while she considers the lawsuit.

The Republicans maintain legislators enjoy immunity from civil lawsuits. Ozanne has filed a brief arguing they can be sued because they exceeded their authority and immunity applies only to private actions. He said that applying it would block any remedy for a meetings violation.

The state Justice Department is expected to file a response next month.

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