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Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney, the Republican candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General, wants to allow district attorneys from other counties to enforce Wisconsin’s contested 1849 abortion ban and prosecute abortion cases when the local district attorney declines. Current Wisconsin Attorney General Democrat Josh Kaul opposes this proposal and has said he would not enforce the ban.
Currently, the Wisconsin Attorney General and the Wisconsin Department of Justice have limited power to prosecute, and only in certain kinds of cases. The DOJ can step in on other cases, but only at the request of the local district attorney. Expanding the DOJ’s prosecutorial authority to local counties would require action by the state Legislature.
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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.