WI Supreme Court reinstates law limiting public union collective bargaining “rights”
At least for now:
Acting with unusual speed, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the reinstatement of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial plan to end most collective bargaining for tens of thousands of public workers.
The court found that a committee of lawmakers was not subject to the state’s open meetings law, and so did not violate that law when it hastily approved the collective bargaining measure in March and made it possible for the Senate to take it up. In doing so, the Supreme Court overruled a Dane County judge who had halted the legislation, ending one challenge to the law even as new challenges are likely to emerge.
The changes on collective bargaining will take effect once Secretary of State Doug La Follette arranges for official publication of the stalled bill, and the high court said there was now nothing to preclude him from doing that.
This, however, is not the end to law suits against the bill, it’s just one case which has been settled that had stopped implementation of the law in its tracks. In fact, this finding was more about how the lower court judge had exceeded her authority:
The court ruled that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi’s ruling, which had held up implementation of the collective bargaining law, was in the void ab initio, Latin for invalid from the outset.
"The court’s decision …is not affected by the wisdom or lack thereof evidenced in the act," the majority wrote. "Choices about what laws represent wise public policy for the state of Wisconsin are not within the constitutional purview of the courts. The court’s task in the action for original jurisdiction that we have granted is limited to determining whether the Legislature employed a constitutionally violative process in the enactment of the act. We conclude that the Legislature did not violate the Wisconsin Constitution by the process it used."
The court concluded that Sumi exceeded her jurisdiction, "invaded" the Legislature’s constitutional powers and erred in halting the publication and implementation of the collective bargaining law.
So – the law must now be officially published for it to take effect and according to the court, there’s nothing standing in the way of that happening.
I wonder if we’ll be treated to another spectacle of teachers and the like throwing a collective tantrum. Oh, wait, it’s summer – they’re on vacation. With no works stoppage available to them to make their point, probably not.
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