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Act 10 overturned

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Act 10 overturned

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:05 pm

Judge throws out Walker's union bargaining law

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 more than year and a half saga that likely sets up another showdown in the Supreme Court.

The law remains largely in force for state workers, though a federal judge struck down part of that section of the law as well earlier this year. But for city, county, and school workers the decision by Dane County Judge Juan Colas returns the law to its status before Walker signed his law in March 2011.

Let the appeals process begin.
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby snoqueen » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:15 pm

Who just asked about this week's Friday surprise?

Remember our own hopelessly screwed-up Supremes bat last.
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby Detritus » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:16 pm

snoqueen wrote:Who just asked about this week's Friday surprise?

Remember our own hopelessly screwed-up Supremes bat last.

Only at the state level. If the cases truly rests on freedom of association, then Federal courts have jurisdiction as well.
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:21 pm

Detritus wrote:
snoqueen wrote:Who just asked about this week's Friday surprise?

Remember our own hopelessly screwed-up Supremes bat last.

Only at the state level. If the cases truly rests on freedom of association, then Federal courts have jurisdiction as well.



If the case rests on freedom of association, it's going to be overturned anyway. Are there any details on the judge's finding available?
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby Detritus » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:33 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:If the case rests on freedom of association, it's going to be overturned anyway. Are there any details on the judge's finding available?

How do you figure that?

Wheeler report has the decision (5 MB PDF file).
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby snoqueen » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:36 pm

Good point.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... ml?hpid=z3

The Washington Post reports that the judge says the law "violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void," so there may indeed be federal issues in play.
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby Detritus » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:42 pm

Summary of the decision:

1. Enactment of Act 10 did not violate the special session limiting clause of the Wisconsin Constitution.

2. Sections of Act 10 requiring a referendum for wage increases above the COL for represented municipal & school district employees, limiting fair share dues for public safety and transit employees, prohibiting payroll deduction of union dues, prohibiting municipal employers from bargaining on anything but wages, and imposing extra certification requirements on general employee unions--all violate the employees' rights of free speech, association, and equal protection.

3. The section singly out the City of Milwaukee retirement system violates both the Wisconsin constitutions Home Rule Amendment and the constitutional prohibition against the impairment of contracts, but

4. That section does not constitute taking without due process.

Those sections found to be unconstitutional are void and without effect.


Colas also observed that "plaintiffs have the burden of proving the unconstitutionality of a statue beyond a reasonable doubt," which is a high bar.
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby snoqueen » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:14 pm

See page 13 of the decision (link above). It looks to me like Judge Colas says Act 10 violates the plaintiffs' 1st and 14th Amendment rights (speech and association amendments) under the US constitution and their rights under the Wisconsin constitution by virtue of the fact those rights are pretty similarly defined in both documents. The specific violation is the way Act 10 creates at least two different classes of employees and grants the classes different rights.

On p. 16 of the judgment, Judge Colas writes:

"These are fundamental rights and the infringement having been shown, the burden shifts to the defendants to establish that the harm done to the constitutional right is outweighed by the evil it seks to prevent. Because defendants contend there is no infringement of the rights of speech and association, they offer no evidence or argument of the substantial evil the government seeks to prevent by the infringing provisions. Without any evidence or argument that the infringement serves to prevent an evil in the operation of the bargaining system created by the statutes, the court must find the infringement to be excessive and to violate the constitutional rights of free speech and association."

So what does it take to put this in a federal court rather than on the path to the state supreme court, when the judge refers to both state and federal constitutional law issues? Is it up to the party filing the appeal to decide where they want to file it? Or what?

----
Here's a link to the Journal-Sentinel's report:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolit ... 34626.html
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:28 pm

Since it started in a state court, it needs to go through the state appeals system first. After the Wisconsin Supreme Court has their chance at it, then federal appeals may be filed. That's the way it usually works.
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Re: Act 10 overturned again

Postby Shorty » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:26 am

Why wasn't a federal appeal filed over the previous Supreme Court crooked decision on this? More stories:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/1 ... ostpopular
Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law Struck Down By County Judge

"A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers. Walker's administration immediately vowed to appeal, while unions, which have vigorously fought the law, declared victory. But what the ruling meant for existing public contracts was murky: Unions claimed the ruling meant they could negotiate again, but Walker could seek to keep the law in effect while the legal drama plays out."

http://www.channel3000.com/news/Judge-s ... index.html
Judge strikes down Wis. law limiting union rights
Walker spokesman confident ruling will be overturned

"A Wisconsin judge has struck down the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers. Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled Friday the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The ruling comes after a lawsuit brought by the Madison teachers union and a union for Milwaukee city employees. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said he is confident the decision will be overturned on appeal."

http://news.yahoo.com/wisconsin-state-j ... 03699.html
Wisconsin state judge strikes down collective bargaining law

"Wisconsin's controversial law that limited the rights of public sector unions and sparked recall elections was struck down on Friday by a Wisconsin judge. Republican Governor Scott Walker, who survived a recall election earlier this year that stemmed from passage of the collective bargaining law, said after the ruling that he was confident the state would ultimately prevail in an appeal."
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Re: Act 10 overturned again

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:10 am

Shorty wrote:Why wasn't a federal appeal filed over the previous Supreme Court crooked decision on this?

If you are talking about Judge Sumi's decision, it was solely based on the Wisconsin Constitution and not the U.S. Constitution, thus no there was no federal question to resolve.
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Re: Act 10 overturned again

Postby Detritus » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:02 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Shorty wrote:Why wasn't a federal appeal filed over the previous Supreme Court crooked decision on this?

If you are talking about Judge Sumi's decision, it was solely based on the Wisconsin Constitution and not the U.S. Constitution, thus no there was no federal question to resolve.

Sumi considered the constitutionality of using the special session to push through Act 10, and found it constitutional. Colas took that as given--the session and the act of passing Act 10 was constitutional. The content of Act 10, on the other hand, not so much.

New opinion by Marquette law professor Edward Fallone suggests that Colas's opinion will not be so easy to overturn.
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Re: Act 10 overturned again

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:13 pm

Detritus wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:
Shorty wrote:Why wasn't a federal appeal filed over the previous Supreme Court crooked decision on this?

If you are talking about Judge Sumi's decision, it was solely based on the Wisconsin Constitution and not the U.S. Constitution, thus no there was no federal question to resolve.

Sumi considered the constitutionality of using the special session to push through Act 10, and found it constitutional.

That's not how Judge Sumi ruled (her decision was overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court).
Judge Maryann Sumi issued the long anticipated opinion in Ozanne v. Fitzgerald yesterday, holding: 1) that the circuit courts have jurisdiction to hear cases alleging that a particular piece of legislation was not constitutionally enacted...
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Re: Act 10 overturned again

Postby Detritus » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:25 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:That's not how Judge Sumi ruled (her decision was overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court).
Judge Maryann Sumi issued the long anticipated opinion in Ozanne v. Fitzgerald yesterday, holding: 1) that the circuit courts have jurisdiction to hear cases alleging that a particular piece of legislation was not constitutionally enacted...

Ah, right. In any case, Colas accepted the constitutionality of the session and the passage of the act.
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Re: Act 10 overturned

Postby Huckleby » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:52 pm

Laws are supposed to apply the same to all. For Republican law makers to pick and choose certain unions to apply laws to ("divide and conqueor") certainly seems like a blatant violation of Equal Protection Clause.

But I have zero expectation that the consitutional objection will ultimately hold up. This thing is completely politicized, and Republicans control the WI and U.S. Supreme Courts. The U.S. Supreme Court in particular is very reluctant to apply the Equal Protection Clause - although they did see fit to use it to stop a vote recount in Florida.
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