The Latest: Legal experts say case against Evers strong

Gov. Tony Evers leads a roundtable discussion on Medicaid expansion and health issues in Green Bay on April 10, 2019 (WBAY photo)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on lawsuit filed against Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

Legal experts say a conservative think tank whose reporters were barred from a news briefing by Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has a strong case.

The MacIver Institute for Public Policy filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday alleging that Evers violated its staffers' constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of the press and equal access.

MacIver reporters were not allowed to attend a February budget briefing and do not receive advisories from Evers' office about upcoming events.

University of Wisconsin-Madison law and political science professor Howard Schweber says based on the known facts, MacIver's case against Evers is "practically a slam dunk."

Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff says Evers believes in a "fair and unbiased press corps" and is committed to openness in state government.

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8:26 a.m.

A conservative think tank has filed a federal lawsuit against Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, alleging that he violated First Amendment rights of staff members who were denied access to a press briefing.

The MacIver Institute for Public Policy filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Madison. Evers' spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff had no immediate comment Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges that Evers has refused to extend invitations to press events to reporters for the MacIver News Service, part of the conservative group. The lawsuit also says MacIver does not receive press releases sent to other news outlets.

It cites an Evers February budget briefing where two MacIver reporters were denied access.

MacIver wants the court to prevent Evers from barring MacIver reporters from press events and lists announcing such events.

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