Friday, September 14, 2012
Update (9/15/12): Here are some thoughts by myself and others in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on how an appeal of the court's Act 10 decision might eventually unfold.
In a stunning turn of events, a state trial court in Dane County, Wisconsin (Madison) has declared null and void the anti-collective bargaining provisions, annual recertification provisions, and anti-dues check off provisions of Act 10 (the Wisconsin anti-collective bargaining law) under federal and state constitutional law. The pension contribution provisions for Milwaukee were also struck down. Here is the court's decision in Madison's Teacher Inc. v. Walker.
More specifically, the court found that Act 10 impermissbly burdened public sector union members' associational rights and free speech rights in collective bargaining and was in violation of equal protection under both federal and state constitutions. Additionally, the Court found that provisions requiring public employees to contribute to their pensions violated the Home Rule Amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution and the Impairment of Contracts Clause of both the Wisconsin and federal constitutions.
This decision will certainly be appealed and faces a frosty reception at the Wisconsin Supreme Court which has sided with Governor Walker on a partisan basis (4-3) in prior challenges to Act 10.
Things are about to get real interesting here in Wisconsin again.