RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Intro: "A Wisconsin judge on Thursday did what thousands of pro-union protesters and boycotting Democratic lawmakers couldn't, forcing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to halt plans to implement a law that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights and cut their pay. Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi, who had issued an order intended to block implementation of the law while she considered a challenge to its legitimacy and warned of sanctions for noncompliance, amended her order Thursday to clarify that the law had not taken effect, as Republican leaders argued it had."

A State Assembly Democrat at the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, pumps his fist as participants in the Wisconsin protests rally against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's bill, 02/18/11. (photo: Darren Hauck/Reuters)
A State Assembly Democrat at the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, pumps his fist as participants in the Wisconsin protests rally against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's bill, 02/18/11. (photo: Darren Hauck/Reuters)




BREAKING: Wisconsin Judge Declares
Union Law Not In Effect

By Associated Press

31 March 11


RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor

 

Wisconsin judge on Thursday did what thousands of pro-union protesters and boycotting Democratic lawmakers couldn't, forcing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to halt plans to implement a law that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights and cut their pay.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi, who had issued an order intended to block implementation of the law while she considered a challenge to its legitimacy and warned of sanctions for noncompliance, amended her order Thursday to clarify that the law had not taken effect, as Republican leaders argued it had.

The governor's top aide, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, later issued a statement saying Walker would comply with Sumi's order and halt preparations that were under way to begin deducting money from most public workers' paychecks, but that the governor's administration still believes the law took effect after a state office unexpectedly published online.

"While I believe the budget repair bill was legally published and is indeed law, given the most recent court action we will suspend the implementation of it at this time," Huebsch said.

The law would require most public sector workers to contribute more to their health care and pensions, changes that amount to an average 8 percent pay cut. The measure also strips them of their right to collectively bargain any work conditions except wages.

Walker signed the proposal into law earlier this month after weeks of large pro-union protests in and around the state Capitol and after the Senate's Democrats fled Wisconsin in an attempt to deny Republicans the quorum needed to vote on the measure.

Several lawsuits challenging the law are pending, including the one before Sumi filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. His lawsuit contends that Republican legislative leaders violated the state's open meetings law in the run-up to a vote on the plan. Sumi issued an order blocking Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, typically the last step before it can take effect while she considers the case.

But Republicans convinced another state office to publish the law online on Friday and declared the law took effect the following day. The state Department of Administration has begun preparations to start taking the deductions out of state workers' paychecks.

Sumi issued another restraining order on Tuesday after a day of testimony that reiterated her initial order. She warned anyone who violated it would face sanctions.

But state Justice Department attorneys and Huebsch said they didn't believe that order applied to the Walker administration since it wasn't named as a defendant in Ozanne's lawsuit. They continued work to implement the bill.

Early Thursday morning, Sumi added the non-effect declaration to her restraining order clarifying that the law has not been published and is therefore not in effect. She is expected to take more testimony at a hearing on Friday.

Ozanne said Thursday that Sumi's ruling speaks for itself. Justice Department spokesman Bill Cosh had no immediate comment.

A spokesman for Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald said he had nothing new to say beyond his previous statement that he didn't believe the judge had the authority to interject herself into the affairs of the Legislature given the separation of powers.

The Legislature was scheduled to be in session Tuesday to pass other parts of Walker's plan to balance the current year's budget that faces a $137 million shortfall. There were no immediate plans to take up the collective bargaining piece again. The judge has said lawmakers could avoid the legal fight by passing it a second time, but legislative leaders have said they are confident it was done correctly the first time and it will prevail in court.

The law would require that about $30 million be saved by the state by July 1 through increased pension and health care contributions. If enactment of the law is delayed, the deductions from state workers would have to increase in order to get those savings by that time.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+156 # photojack53 2011-03-31 15:31
She is not an activist judge. She is a balanced, fair and reasonable judge who sees the extremism of the Republican agenda and is taking her role seriously in defending the working class citizens of America. I so seriously hope that these Repugnican plutocrats and Tea Party fools are recalled and can never threaten our civil liberties again. Walker had previously granted tax breaks to corporations and the rich that almost exactly equal the "manufactured" deficit he claims to want to remedy. This same tactic was implemented in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and elsewhere as a ploy to cut social programs and education budgets they want gutted. END THEIR HYPOCRISY, NOW! Recall these ruinous idiots immediately!
 
 
+50 # mishanti2 2011-03-31 17:11
I agree with you. In what planet are these guys living when they don't think the US courts have a say in legislation? I always believed that the Separation meant no one side could act without the other to make certain the other is acting correctly. (sort of a tongue twister) Let me email Scali to tell him about this since that should mean the Sopreme Courts can't now rule on laws passed in states or Federal governments.
 
 
+59 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2011-03-31 16:17
The Republicans — from "the law and order party" — always seem to be the people ordering the law to be broken (torture being just one example). They have the same pathetic track record with their "we're the self-assessed-p aradigms-of-vir tue" joke. The latest BIG LIE from the Republican myth machinery is their "only Republicans can create jobs" bait-and-switch snake oil. Seen any jobs created by Republicans lately? Or ever? (Not counting foreclosure-rea lated jobs, or abhorrently overpaid CEO positions, or blood-sucking lobbyist jobs, of course.)
 
 
+47 # liberalman 2011-03-31 16:44
All well & good for the time being & thank you to the judge for showing good reasoning. However, if the case crawls its way up to the Supreme Court, well hello Activist Right Wing court. Roberts, Alito, Thomas, the GOPS gifts that keep on giving would side with the Koch bros. main lackey Gov. Walker in a Republican heartbeat. It is long past time for the rational & compassionate to take our country back from the wealthiest of the wealthy.
 
 
+46 # KMC 2011-03-31 16:47
REINSTATE THE ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX LAWS FOR BOTH FEDERAL AND STATE LEVELS...
It is ridiculous that I pay more on
~ $2000 of UI BENEFITS than either Bank of America or GE, who earned BILLIONS OF PROFITS IN 2010!!!
 
 
+38 # yalambi 2011-03-31 17:02
Hooray for fairness and decency !!!
 
 
+11 # trueamericanpatriot 2011-04-01 07:15
Quoting yalambi:
Hooray for fairness and decency !!!

Agreed! MARYANN SUMI FOR U.S. SUPREME COURT! START THE PETITION!! :):):):):)
 
 
+44 # in deo veritas 2011-03-31 17:18
BRAVO for this courageous judge! As seen every day, there are few who are actually doing the job they took the oath to do. Sadly we see just the opposite on the Supremely Corrupt Court. One of them (Scalia) can't even drive a car without endangering lives! Why should he and his colleagues be allowed to judge anyone? Impeach them starting with Thomas.
 
 
+43 # David Arnold 2011-03-31 17:23
Why do the "haves" believe they should rape the "have nots" to suit their selfish ends? Why do the "haves" think they should be allowed to keep accumulating obscene wealth while the middle class and poor suffer?
When the government ceases to do the will of the overwheming vast majority of the people it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it! It is time to revolt! We need a nation-wide strike of working people to demonstrate who relly has the power. Damn them all!
 
 
+2 # FatCharley 2011-04-03 09:15
That sounds like Declaration of Independence language, David! It has that sort of anthem quality. The sovereignty issue was solved, but we do need to remind some in government just who it is who is endowed with constitutional rights and who it is who provides the backbone labor and financing (taxes) that keeps infrastructure repaired, teaches our children, works in our remaining factories, businesses and shops and pays said taxes willingly in the hope of upholding together the quality of life we still hope/think we have or can maintain.
 
 
+26 # Gary Ray Pierson 2011-03-31 17:24
Being a male pig, dog or what ever.. This is one reason I would like to see more women Judges on the courts benches and in politics. Their all not fair as Palin or Bohman what's her name, but the women can do it right.. Hell of a lot stronger than a mans heart.......... Lets see a guy give birth and go to work like at Wal-Mart.. Good job Maryann Sumi, now call the prosecuting attorney for crimes against the people.. Put the monkeys away... They're making us all go ape.. Cpl. Pierson 101st Airborne,Vietna m
 
 
+35 # jon 2011-03-31 17:32
Judges are only called "activists" by republicans, when a ruling is made contrary to their wants.

When a court does indeed issue an activist ruling, such as making corporations the same as people (can you marry a corporation, or divorce a corporation?), no republican uses the expression, "activist".
 
 
+13 # Ralph Averill 2011-04-01 04:06
More importantly, can a corporation go to prison for criminal behavior?
 
 
+6 # JustJim 2011-04-01 09:30
EXCELLENT point Ralph! How can a corporation be considered a "person" when it cannot be punished through the same procedures as mere biological entities. Recognizing corporations as "people" flys in the face of the statment "all men created equal". But, I guess since that is from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, it is not LAW.
 
 
+27 # handymandave 2011-03-31 17:35
Why do the "haves" believe that they are more worthy than those of us who have less? Why do the "haves believe they should be enabled to accumulate obscene amounts of wealth while working people struggle and die?
It is time for the working people to strike and shut down this country. It is time for the haves to realise that they are fed by the "have nots."
"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
It is time!
 
 
+7 # Ralph Averill 2011-04-01 04:20
"Why do the "haves" believe that they are more worthy than those of us who have less?"
That is the Protestant Calvinist philosophy brought to our shores by the first Pilgrim and Puritan settlers, and it is woven itself through our history. It has been used to justify, indeed to ennoble, the exploitation of workers, slavery, and the annihilation of native peoples in both North and South America, and environmental degradation.
"I am rich because God loves me more than God loves you. Now, shut up and get back to work!"
 
 
+1 # bolivianmsc 2011-04-03 00:48
You sound like the communists in the former Soviet Union...haves and have nots. The majority of the haves earned their wealth, not to have it redistributed through taxes to you have nots. You have no God given or moral right to take the wealth of others.
 
 
+1 # Reyn 2011-04-05 14:15
No nation-state that has ever survived has eliminated its own right to tax its citizens. None ever will.

While I recognize the rhetoric you are using, I call it what it is - bull. The time that the US was most productive it had the highest taxes in its history. Under President Eisenhower - for example - income taxes were 90% on the highest brackets - not the 35% they are now.

Regards,

Reyn

Quoting bolivianmsc:
You sound like the communists in the former Soviet Union...haves and have nots. The majority of the haves earned their wealth, not to have it redistributed through taxes to you have nots. You have no God given or moral right to take the wealth of others.
 
 
+23 # Doctoretty 2011-03-31 17:35
The time has come to put these lawbreakers in jail!
 
 
+13 # fredboy 2011-03-31 17:45
While this is a stay or temporary position, let's do our best to reframe and refit the labor movement beyond unions by giving individuals and groups of individuals more legal and contractual strength.

As an example, non-compete clauses should hereafter be mutual--I will not compete with 20 miles of the company if the company agrees to not sell, market, promote, advertise or service its goods or or provide its services within 20 miles of me.

Brainstorm a massive, collective list of such changes and demands, and let's get this party--uh, movement--start ed!
 
 
+10 # Texas Aggie 2011-04-01 01:07
Among the organizations to be considered are the farmers' cooperatives, a force in Wisconsin society. There is little difference between a cooperative and a labor union in that both are organized to give powerless individuals the ability to negotiate on an equal basis with powerful corporations. Once labor unions are gone, the corporations like Kraft and Dean Foods are going after the milk producers' cooperatives because they are the only thing standing between the dairy farmer and becoming "share croppers" for the corporate overlords.
 
 
+19 # gslover60 2011-03-31 17:50
Separation of powers? Has Jeff Fitzgerald not heard of "checks and balances"? How do these people with no understanding of our system of democracy persuade voters to elect them? Does no one notice their extreme ignorance?
 
 
+21 # Kayjay 2011-03-31 17:53
Thank god for jurists like Judge Sumi. With Walker and Koch's agenda tied up in the courts, support plans to RECALL these GOP dirtbags....now ...spread this message throughout the northern states being targeted by Rethugilans.
 
 
+18 # propsguy 2011-03-31 17:54
i hope she continues to hold the line
 
 
+23 # FrankZ 2011-03-31 18:22
Is any suit being brought to rescind the tax breaks given to corporate entity's by the Walker administration and to command that the corporations pay their fair share.????????? ??????????????? ?
 
 
+17 # sassymom60 2011-03-31 18:26
I agree with those who've expressed the view that it's time to strike - I can't quite picture those politicians, mayors, bankers and wall streeters mowing their lawn, caring for their children, laundering their clothes, cooking their own meals, hauling their trash to the dump, checking their gas/electric meters, cleaning their pools, cleaning their houses, fixing their cars, doing their own shopping, - - - the list goes on and on. We need to hit the streets, folks!
 
 
+16 # mtnview 2011-03-31 18:37
The abiding distinction of radical conservatives who claim they want small government is this: the ends justify the means. Look for this in every tangle where they are involved: Afganistan, torture, gitmo violations, Bradley Manning, wikileaks, finance corruption, etc. And the end is this: profit for a few.
 
 
+18 # JazBing 2011-03-31 18:38
What kind of garbage is that statement that the courts can't "interject" themselves into legislative wrongdoing? I learned in 5th grade that our 3 branches of government AND the "free" press are called "checks and balances."

I remember thinking how brilliant the founders were to devise this system. Figures, they want to cheapen this too. Everytime I read news about them I feel the need to take a shower!
 
 
+20 # kswsma 2011-03-31 18:52
Republican spokesman Jeff Fitzgeras says he "didn't believe the judge had the authority to interject herself into the affairs of the Legislature given the separation of powers." Seems he doesn't understand how our government works, and was wisely set up to work. Separation of powers (Supreme Ct vs. Congress or the Pres., for instance) is a safeguard to prevent dangerous, stupid or unConstitutiona l laws and policies from being enacted by hot heads and know-nothings for selfish and convenient gains which are not in the best interest of the democracy or its citizens. The judge absolutely DOES have the right, and obligation, to "interject" him or herself in the affairs of the Legislature. Take a Government or Civics refresher course, Jeff. In the meantime please shut up.
 
 
+19 # KittatinyHawk 2011-03-31 19:03
Tomorrow Marches begin, this is a great way to see these Marches begin. Hope you all are involved.

May the Walmart Employees see the same equality by Judges who took oaths to uphold the Law. Discrimination is against the Law
 
 
+5 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-04-01 04:23
Thank God for this real McCoy justice judge. And, I loved to read the word: 'sanctions'.

Think it's absolutely necessary for us here in today's U.S. of (greed and power) A.(ddiction), to abandon 'governmental immunity', and begin prosecuting offenders, and, if found guilty, hitting them with heavy duty sanctions, i.e. mandatory sentencing, immediate withdrawl from office, etc.

Govt. immunity comes from connon law's 'sovereign immunity', and is based on what today is clearly a false premise: all govt. officials are working for the common good. Not so, especially given all the Koch suckers that surround us, engulf us, and destroy all our rights as they enslave us.

VILLAINAIRES, GO TO HELL!!!
 
 
+6 # Sally Rowe 2011-04-01 05:51
My oh My! Now let me see............ we take hard won labor rights away from those earning a living wage, and we don't tax the wealthy for all that they were able to attain in this country because of that labor....and not only are they not paying their fair share of taxes, they are sitting on billions not hiring that labor but going where labor is cheap cheap cheap and people are very poor and desperate. What is wrong with this picture???
 
 
+1 # maddave 2011-04-01 09:04
Thank you Judge Sumi. You brought us a breath of fresh air. Now let's get on with recalling these SOB's!
 
 
+1 # Kayjay 2011-04-01 12:22
The key to inching along a loooong road to change in Wisc. and beyond will be an actual RECALL. But more importantly is the need to be consistent and persistent....d on't/never waver.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN