MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court handed Republican Gov. Scott Walker a major victory on Tuesday, ruling that a polarizing union law could take effect that strips most public employees of their collective bargaining rights.

In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi overstepped her authority when she said Republican lawmakers violated the state’s open meetings statutes in the run-up to passage of the legislation and declared the law void.

The law, which also requires public employees to pay more for their health care and pensions, sparked weeks of protests when Walker introduced it in February. Tens of thousands of demonstrators occupied the state Capitol for weeks and Democratic senators fled the state to prevent a vote, thrusting Wisconsin to the forefront of a national debate over labor rights.

In a one-sentence reaction to the ruling, the governor said: “The Supreme Court’s ruling provides our state the opportunity to move forward together and focus on getting Wisconsin working again.”

Walker has claimed that the law was needed to help address the state’s $3.6 billion budget shortfall and give local governments enough flexibility on labor costs to deal with deep cuts to state aid. Democrats saw it as an attack on public employee unions, which usually back their party’s candidates.

The Supreme Court’s ruling will likely be the precursor to an avalanche of lawsuits and legal challenges that couldn’t be brought until the law took effect.

The decision came just hours before the Wisconsin Assembly was expected to begin debating the state budget. Had the ruling not come down, Republicans planned to put the collective bargaining provisions into the budget so the changes could take effect during the court fight.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (24)
  1. GOPSUX says:

    Dirty republican filth.

    1. tuna-free dolphin says:

      Sore loser.

  2. CarlyB says:

    Way to go Wisconsin!!

    1. Lisa says:

      yup…THE WAY they are “going” is down the tubes. I will not set foot, vacation, or buy anything in Wisc until walker takes a long walk off a short pier into the mighty mississippi.

      1. tuna-free dolphin says:

        Is that a promise? Why don’t you just move to Frisco? That’s where people of your ilk live.

        1. James2 says:

          Ahem, it’s not called Frisco. And the majority of people in San Francisco are straight, asian, and eat tuna free dolphin.

          1. tom says:

            the are still a bunch a liberal zombies

  3. Victim Du Jour says:

    Looks like the people in Wisconsin are living in a free country again.

    You will be able to fart in public without getting court ordered into a mental health class.

  4. alp says:

    Union Busting there you have it folks proof that the GOP is not the political party of the “Little Guy” your union is next!

    1. Victim Du Jour says:

      Is that why Unions support politicians who want illegals here to drive down the pay for “little guy” jobs?

  5. tom says:

    CCW is next in WI, way to go WI, time to get back to the basics and support America.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Does this mean the broken nose thugs are going back to Chicago and Detroit?

  7. Citizen says:

    Let the legal show begin. Should be interesting, informative, and ultimately decide the fate of this law and perhaps more……

  8. TTT says:

    How is this union busting? They still have the union right? All is this did was limit the power so the unions cannot walk out and cry every time they have to do something they don’t want to do.

    I have been in the union for over twelve years. I will tell you that the union workers are a strong group and a majority will survive. The ones that will fail will be the ones that have no morals and work ethics. These people will be weeded out no matter what career path they choose.

    The problem also exists with the union heads. The local I belong to pays a first year B.A. just over $70,000 a year and a company car.

    Now tell me how the local unions makes money? Are they building something? Are they selling something? Are they getting dirty everyday like the rest of us? How does a group of people that has no business transactions besides union dues can afford to pay this much money.

    Anyone out there who runs a business knows all to well, if you are paying a salesman $70,00 a year and he isn’t selling anything, how long will your company stay around? How long can you afford to stay in business unless someone up above is hand feeding you money?

    The union brags about being there for the working man. Try talking to a B.A. and getting something resolved. It’s like pulling teeth.

    If the union would give some options in health care and retirement plans instead of railroading you into THERE program, I think people would be more receptive to the union. Until then, the battle will rage on.

    We need to follow the original union code and re-organize from the top down. Then and only then will the unions be strong , and the people will truly have the power.

  9. No more free ride - time to pay your fair share says:

    Way to go Wisconsin!!!

    The free public trough is beginning to close – finally.

  10. Ronald Raygun says:

    Legislating from the bench. Activist judges.

  11. Bill says:

    I knew I’d see the term “activist judge” in a posting. If a judge rules in favor or against, it’s not “legislating from the bench”. Their job is making sure the other two branches follow the law of the land whether you agree with them or not. I think people need to learn about our system of government from texts and school. Not from dip sh/t politicians and their catch phrases and divisiveness.

    1. Ronald Raygun says:

      The comment was in jest, directed at conservative filth who ALWAYS trot it out when something doesn’t go their way.

  12. MC Hammer says:

    Well the courts finaly worked! Now state works will have to pay for their bennys like the rest of us!

  13. Reasonable says:

    Well I wonder if the final bill that passed still has that nice little provision that can sell the profit from public enterprise (utilites) to private corporations w/o a public bidding process or any approval. Basically you’re going to have the Koch brother’s running municipal water for a profit while the state still has to pay for the employees.

    Congratulations WI, you got duped by getting caught up in the public union thing while the real rug was pulled completely out from under you.

    On the other hand, I’m real curious to see what happens to WI scores on standardized tests over the next 4 years.

    1. tom says:

      ger rid of the liberal teachers and I bet the scores vastly improve

      1. Reasonable says:

        So the kids can be taught that Paul Revere was warning the Brits that we have 2nd ammendment rights?


  14. Love WI says:

    Wouldnt it be nice if the Lower Court Judges could have kept their political thoughts to themselves. Why did we have to waste the Supreme courts time on this case. This was legal from the start and now maybe we can move forward with the rest of our State’s issues

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