Friday, January 18, 2013
Wisconsin Educational Council v. Walker, ____F.3d___(7th Cir. Jan. 18, 2013), is an important case that you are going to hear more about. In a 74 page decision, the 7th Circuit upholds the constitutionality of Wisconsin Act 10, the so-called Budget Repair Bill, Download WEAC v Walker -- 7th Circuit Decision
The major challenge was on equal protection grounds. Specifically, the statute creates two classifications of public employees; public safety employees and general employees whom the restrictive labor relations provisions apply to. The prohibition of payroll deductions was also challenged on First Amendment grounds. The court rejected each of these arguments.
The court applied the rational basis standard of review and concluded that the statute did not create view point discrimination. The court reasoned that differring treatment could be justified on the greater consequences of public safety worker strikes.
The court did acknowledge the unions' agrument that it was only those same public safety unions who supported Governor Walker for election. So much for view point discrimination.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein