MADISON (WSAU) Another court hearing will be held this morning on the state law that virtually ends collective bargaining by most public employee unions in Wisconsin. Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi will decide whether to keep blocking the measure, until she can decide if the Legislature broke the Open Meeting Law when they passed it.
Yesterday the judge struck down a Republican legal maneuver in which the law was implemented despite the court’s restraining order from March 18th. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called Sumi’s ruling “judicial activism at its worst.” He accused her of standing in the way of the G-O-P’s efforts to quote, “improve the economy and create jobs.” Governor Scott Walker said in Milwaukee the union law will not be in effect until the legal issues are sorted out.
The state Justice Department said it objected to yesterday’s order, and a higher court will eventually decide everything. The State Supreme Court has already been asked to nullify the restraining order – and two other lawsuits are pending which seek to strike down the union bargaining limits for good.
The judge said lawmakers could erase the alleged Open Meeting Law violation by voting a second time on the union bill. But leaders in both houses say they won’t do that. Political observers say the G-O-P doesn’t want to create a repeat of February’s mass demonstrations – and they don’t want to give more ammunition to those trying to recall eight Republican senators who voted in March to pass the measure.