Gov. Scott Walker’s law repealing most collective bargaining for local and school employees was struck down by a Dane County judge Friday, yet another dramatic twist in a year and a half saga that likely sets up another showdown in the Supreme Court.
The law remains largely in force for state workers, but for city, county, and school workers the decision by Dane County Judge Juan Colas returns the law to its status before Walker signed the legislation in March 2011.
Colas ruled that the law violated workers’ constitutional rights to free speech, free association and equal representation under the law by capping union workers’ raises but not those of their nonunion counterparts. The judge also ruled that the law violated the “home rule” clause of the state constitution by setting the contribution for City of Milwaukee employees to the city pension system rather than leaving it to the city and workers.
The decision could still be overturned on appeal – the Supreme Court has already restored the law once in June 2011 after it was blocked by a different Dane County judge in a different case earlier that year.
I think this is likely to be overturned on appeal again. Colas’ arguments seem a bit weak. The Wisconsin court has specifically recognized that unionized and non-unionized employees are different and can be treated differently; otherwise what is the point of a union? The judge’s logic seems to be that unions can be treated differently when it’s to their advantage, but not when it’s to their disadvantage. I find that prospect dubious.
This is the second legal case to go to the Supreme Court after the “fleebagging” and multiple recall elections. It is amazing the lengths the Democrats will go to to bankrupt their own state and assure the firings of thousands of state employees.
Update The more I think about this, the more it annoys me. Both the courts and the Democrats have signed off on numerous laws that restrict free association: card check, forced unionization, collection of dues from non-union members. Both are fine with punishing people for not being unionized. Now they suddenly get constitutional religion?