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Dane County judge refuses to throw out Act 10 law

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin Republicans have scored another legal victory for Act 10. 

Dane County Circuit Judge John Markson refused Wednesday to throw out the 2011 law that virtually eliminated collective bargaining for most public employee unions.  

In rejecting a challenge from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association, the judge said the law does not violate union members' rights to free speech and association. 

The plaintiffs said it treats different types of police employees differently, exempting state troopers but not Capitol or UW police officers. 

In a 46 page decision, Judge Markson said it might have been, "rank political favoritism" on the part of Governor Scott Walker and the GOP to exempt state troopers from Act 10. However, Markson said it's legally irrelevant, because the constitutional questions take precedence. 

The judge said the union tried to equate collective bargaining with the constitutional right of free association. He said the two are not the same, because the state has the power to limit bargaining without infringing on the union's right to freely associate. 

Walker and the Republicans have won several lawsuits challenging Act 10.

The only suit they haven't won was filed by the Madison teachers and a Milwaukee city employee union. Madison judge Juan Colas ruled that Act 10 is unconstitutional for local government and public school employees. 

The state is currently appealing that ruling before the State Supreme Court.

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