Court keeps Walker appointee on Natural Resources board and family calls for justice after Black transgender woman murdered in Milwaukee

·3 min read

The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules that Scott Walker-appointed Natural Resources Board member Frederick Prehn can remain past his term

  • The justices ruled 4-3 against the request by Attorney General Josh Kaul, who sought last year to force Prehn to vacate his seat on the board, upholding the decision of a Dane County circuit judge. The decision allows Prehn to remain as a voting member of the board, which sets policy for the Department of Natural Resources until the state Senate holds a hearing for his replacement.

  • Prehn's term expired in May 2021 and Republican leaders in the Senate have refused to schedule a confirmation hearing for Evers appointee Sandra Dee Naas.

  • Wednesday’s ruling all but ensures that Republicans who control the state Senate will continue to avoid confirming large slates of the Democratic governor's appointees to key cabinet positions and other state positions — a breakdown in the regular order of state government that emerged in 2019 when Republican senators rejected the appointment of Evers’ agriculture secretary and have let others languish for years.

Family calls for justice after Black transgender woman murdered in Milwaukee

  • 28-year-old Brazil Johnson was a Black transgender woman who was found shot to death on June 15 in Milwaukee. No arrests have been made in her killing.

  • Johnson’s death comes amid a rise in anti-LGBTQ, and specifically anti-trans, rhetoric and policies nationwide. She is at least the 17th transgender person fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the U.S. this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. In 2021, the advocacy organization tracked a record number of violent fatal incidents – a total of 50 – against transgender and gender non-conforming people. The majority of those people were Black and Latinx transgender women, as had been the case in prior years.

  • Bernitha Gildart said her daughter was shot multiple times, apparently from close range. “I’m still in the dark. She didn't deserve this,” Gildart said, later adding: “I feel it was a hate crime.” As a teenager, Johnson was a community health promoter for Diverse & Resilient, which serves the LGBTQ community. Staff there remembered her as sweet and kind, and pledged to continue their work to support trans people. “We failed to protect Brazil as we have failed so many other trans woman of color who are murdered every year,” a statement released by Diverse & Resilient said.

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The Money

ASCENT: The tallest mass timber building in the world is opening in downtown Milwaukee. It's healthier for the planet. And you.

EXCLUSIVE COMPANY: It's getting a new owner and new name, but The Exclusive Company in Greenfield will live on.

The Fun Stuff

NASCAR: NASCAR is hosting a tailgate experience in Deer District's plaza in Milwaukee on Saturday ahead of Sunday's Cup Series at Road America, which is near Elkhart Lake, according to a news release from the Milwaukee Bucks.

BARBECUE: Sweet Smoke, a new Milwaukee pop-up, makes barbecue Texas style.

The Games

BREWERS: The Brewers hit two ground-rule home runs at Tropicana Field to win 5-3 and sweep the two-game set against the Rays. Both Rowdy Tellez and Luis Urias hit blasts off a catwalk ring above the field. According to the Rays, it was only the third time in the stadium's 25 years that there had been two catwalk homers in the same game.

BUCKS: Bobby Portis opts out of contract with Milwaukee Bucks, becomes unrestricted free agent.

Today's Weather

The heat returns with a high of 92 and a slight chance of storms tonight.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Court keeps Walker appointee on Natural Resources board