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Judge Again Blocks Wisconsin Union Bill

Judge Again Blocks Wisconsin Union Bill

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi ruled again that any efforts for further implementation of Gov. Walker’s power-grabbing budget bill should be halted immediately.  While she came just short of holding that the law was not already in effect, in a revised ruling and comments she made it clear that she was not pleased with the Republican leadership, saying that this order was intended to clarify an order that “had either been ignored or misinterpreted.”

The ruling came after a series of legal maneuvers by the Walker administration and challenges to the bill.

Judge Sumi’s order once again fell on deaf ears.  Minutes after handing it down, Assistant Attorney General Steven Means said that the legislation “absolutely” is still in effect.

The degree to which Walker and his political allies feel they are above the law is simply astonishing.

The order will remain in effect until Friday, when Sumi will take additional testimony to determine if a further extension is necessary.

Multiple Legal Challenges

The procedures in Judge Sumi’s courtroom were just one of the challenges taking place on Tuesday.  Earlier in the morning a state appeals court refused to allow Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) to withdraw an appeal over the law.  Van Hollen had argued that the appeal was moot since the law was already in effect.

Van Hollen came up with that argument after an end-run around the Secretary of State’s Office.  During testimony it was revealed that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) met with top officials at the Legislative Reference Bureau for about an hour on Friday to get them to reverse their decision to publish the bill.

According to testimony, this is the first time when such a meeting was called and when the LRB was asked to publish a bill without a date established by the secretary of state.  The testimony described the request as “insisting.”  Since Fitzgerald is effectively the boss of LRB employees, they felt they had no other choice.

More Ethical Problems Emerge

After testimony concerning the pressure to publish the bill emerged Judge Sumi ordered the state to provide Secretary of State LaFollette his own attorney because the stories of just how the bill was published, and who authorized it to be published in direct violation of Sumi’s earlier order were not matching up.

Meanwhile State Employees Feel The Squeeze

In another move that shows nothing but contempt for the rule of law, the Walker administration announced that it was no longer collecting dues on behalf of state unions and, as of Sunday, was charging employees more for their pensions and health care.  Walker’s law requires most public workers to pay at least 12.6% of their health care premiums and half of the cost of their current pensions.

If anything these proceedings re-energized the challenges to the Walker administration and re-focused attention to the upcoming state supreme court elections which will be held on April 5th.

For more on the events in Madison, click here.

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photo courtesy of marctasman via Flickr

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75 comments

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4:26AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

Will people like Geoff W stop tryin to be superior and shut or say something constructive. Pleb!

7:10AM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

John Hall is an idiot. The Repugs are once again showing that they are not a part of our country. They are thugs hired by big money interests to destroy the working class. I say REVOLUTION is the answer. We need an uprising to get these people OUT of the mix. Oh, and I am NOT a Democrat. I was a Libertarian until the Repugs and the T-Farty stole my party. I am now an Independant. And I hate the Repugs and their big government grabbing. Bush expanded the government more than Obama could ever hope to. And here we have the Repugs doing it again.

5:30AM PDT on Mar 31, 2011

Helen D.
you mean BP who gave obama millions of campaign money . the horizon that blew up was a shame but obummer who purposely let the oil spill get worse because he wanted to stop drilling off the gulf . there where company's on site within 10 days of this spill ready to clean this mess up . it should and could have been contained out in the gulf way before this ever hit the beach . this is 1 area you have no idea what's going on because you have listened to the liberal democrat media . why do you think he's now pumping money into the gulf along with BP because he had a hand in this mess .

6:40PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

john hall when bp controlled the driling millions of people lost their livlihood

6:28PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Pat R.
when obama stopped all oil drilling in the u.s. or the gulf region over 12,000 people where left without jobs .

6:11PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

John Hall -- people did not lose jobs because of Obama. Have you ever heard of "outsourcing?" The big corporations have sent all the jobs overseas. Why pay minimum wage when you can hire some poor under-age child for pennies a day?

4:53PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Bobbie T. Talked about money, I live on a retirement that is 50% under the poverty level, yet I do quite well. I do not live outside my income and if I can not afford it I do not buy it. I do not know how old you are, but I know that you are not old enough to have experienced the great Depression. You have not live in a shack with a did floor and had to squat on oil pipe land with your shack. You did not live where the closes running water was a half mile away in the river. Money was broken down to 10 mills to a penny, No car, no phone, no food stamps, no TV and we did not vandalized or burn down property. We survived and our Republic survived. the Union was good and can be good again, but the Criminal and Progress have taken over and the rank and file are like zombies My Dad was in the first Coal miner Union and it was good, but not the Union bosses are corrupt as your elected Official which would sell you and you family into slavery for the 30 pieces of blood stain Silver in their blood stained hands. Just look at your leader Reid who committed Bribery of 2 Senators to get their vote on Obamacare which only a big government take over of your life. I had a business and quit because of Government and not being possible to hire people that would work. All I could find is minimum to get by people who could not even make manual change let along read or write. I think that the rank and file should take back the Unions and become honest brokers.

4:33PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Might I ask why this Judge did not remove her self from the case, as her son is high official of the UNION. To make my Opinion known, she should not be a Judge as she allowed Nepotism to control her judgment..

2:54PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

@Rob K.: AGREED!!

2:14PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Some people have what it takes to be a puppet master. Money talks!

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