Monday, October 22, 2012

Judge Won't Stay Decision Striking Down Parts Of Governor Walker's Bargaining Law

State failed to show that irreparable harm would result, if parts of the Act 10 bargaining law remained moot.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 22, 2012

Madison, WI - On Monday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas decided not to suspend his ruling striking down parts of Governor Scott Walker's Act 10 collective bargaining law. The state failed to show irreparable harm would result, if Colas' ruling striking down sections of the collective bargaining law eliminating certain bargaining rights for city, county and public school district unions would cause harm to the state. The state sought a stay to put on hold Colas' ruling, so the state could continue to ban certain collective bargaining rights for workers until an appeals court decides, if Colas' ruling would be overturned.
Judge Colas on September 14, ruled that sections eliminating certain collective bargaining rights for municipal and public school employees were unconstitutional and restored their collective bargaining rights, except for state employees.
Colas wrote, "The constitutions are the fundamental expressions of the will of the people acting in their sovereign capacity...Even laws enacted by the legislature and the governor, though they may manifest the popular will of their time, are subordinate to them. Even a temporary infringement of fundamental rights of speech and association protected by the constitutions is an irreparable harm."
Allowing the state to continue to violate state and federal constitutional rights such as free speech, freedom of association and equal protection of city, county and public school district workers would result in irreparable harm contrary to public interest, according to Colas.
Governor Walker's collective bargaining law eliminated most bargaining rights for state, municipal and public school district union workers when it took effect on June 2011.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen had tried to appeal Judge Colas' September decision. Van Hollen now plans to ask the state Court of Appeals to stay Colas ruling.

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