Saturday, September 15, 2012

Scott Walker's Union-Busting Law Overturned


Read the Judge's Complete Ruling Here

Huffington Post Story
The law, a crowning achievement for Walker that made him a national conservative star, took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.
Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void.

In his 27-page ruling, the judge said sections of the law "single out and encumber the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions."
Colas also said the law violates the equal protection clause by creating separate classes of workers who are treated differently and unequally.

The ruling applies to all local public workers affected by the law, including teachers and city and county government employees, but not those who work for the state. They were not a party to the lawsuit, which was brought by a Madison teachers union and a Milwaukee public workers union.

Gov. Scott Walker's Official Reply:
The people of Wisconsin clearly spoke on June 5. Now, they are ready to move on. Sadly a liberal activist judge in Dane County wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor. We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process.

Dana Brueck, spokeswoman for Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal: We believe the law is constitutional. We are reviewing the decision, but we're planning to appeal.

And Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) spoke for her Tea Party constituents when she ranted about the judge:
A judge living in the fantasy world of Dane County has decided they are going to substitute their singular opinion as opposed to the collective will of Wisconsin, through the Legislature and the recall process. We have litigated, reviewed and elected people because of Act. 10. In each case, they say the law works. And it is.

However, union representatives are delighted and see this as a great victory:

Walker's attempt to silence the union men and women of Wisconsin's public sector was an immoral, unjust and illegal power grab. Now, a court has ruled that the essential provisions of Act 10, Scott Walker's draconian attack on public worker's right to collectively bargain, is unconstitutional.
~ Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisoncin AFL-CIO Union, via CNN

The decision essentially creates the (2011) status quo for municipal employees and school district employees because it declared the essential provisions of Act 10 to be unconstitutional.
~ Lester Pines, attorney for the Madison teachers union, via Milwaukee Journal

This is a sound decision by the court that upholds what we were saying all along — that Act 10 violates constitutional rights.
~ Christina Brey, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, via New York Times

This decision will help to re-establish the balance between employees and their employers. The decision gives us an opportunity to get back to the Wisconsin values of sitting down and working together to iron out differences, not taking away the constitutional rights of our citizens.
~ Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), via Milwaukee Journal

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