Wisconsin Supreme Court strongly upholds Walker’s union restrictions

Remember when that awesome Republican governor Scott Walker limited the unions from extorting massive amounts of money from the state using their collective bargaining powers? Well, some judge halted the legislation. That judge has now been overruled by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Here’s the story from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. (H/T PJ Tatler)

Excerpt:

Acting with unusual speed, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the reinstatement of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial plan to end most collective bargaining for tens of thousands of public workers.

The court found that a committee of lawmakers was not subject to the state’s open meetings law, and so did not violate that law when it hastily approved the collective bargaining measure in March and made it possible for the Senate to take it up. In doing so, the Supreme Court overruled a Dane County judge who had halted the legislation, ending one challenge to the law even as new challenges are likely to emerge.

The changes on collective bargaining will take effect once Secretary of State Doug La Follette arranges for official publication of the stalled bill, and the high court said there was now nothing to preclude him from doing that. La Follette did not return a call Tuesday to say when the law would be published.

[…]The court ruled that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi’s ruling, which had held up implementation of the collective bargaining law, was in the void ab initio, Latin for invalid from the outset.”The court’s decision …is not affected by the wisdom or lack thereof evidenced in the act,” the majority wrote. “Choices about what laws represent wise public policy for the state of Wisconsin are not within the constitutional purview of the courts. The court’s task in the action for original jurisdiction that we have granted is limited to determining whether the Legislature employed a constitutionally violative process in the enactment of the act. We conclude that the Legislature did not violate the Wisconsin Constitution by the process it used.”

The court concluded that Sumi exceeded her jurisdiction, “invaded” the Legislature’s constitutional powers and erred in halting the publication and implementation of the collective bargaining law.

Ace of Spades explains what the phrase “ab initio” means.

Excerpt:

Generally, when a higher court calls bulls**t on a lower one, it’s called a remand, a declaration that the lower court got it wrong, and to try again.

Commenters are telling me the court ruled here ab initio, which (context clues, it’s been forever since I did anything law-oriented) means it’s expunged from memory altogether as being improperly entertained from the start, which means there is no remand to the lower court to try again. The higher court has said “Not only did you get this wrong, you got it so wrong we don’t trust you with another bite at the apple, so we’re directing your decision from here. It’s over. Done. Finished. Kaput.”

And more. This judge, Sumi, attempted not to rule a law unconstitutional but a bill — a not-quite-yet-a-law — unconstitutional, as she ordered the law to be unpublished, that is, to remain a bill without going to the final step to make it a law.

Ace actually brought out the flaming skull and the bear for this story… so it must be big.

Here’s some other good news from Wisconsin – they just passed a bill to legalize concealed carry. That’s good for law-abiding citizens and bad for criminals, who will now have a tougher time committing crimes.

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