Federal Judge Rules Wisconsin Law Limiting Public-Sector Bargaining Power Constitutional

by Sterling Beard

A federal judge ruled today that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s law limiting public-sector unions’ collective-bargaining power is constitutional.

The lawsuit, filed in 2011 by public workers in Madison and Dane counties, argued that the law, commonly known as Act 10, limited their freedom of assembly and denied them equal protection because the state imposed wage restrictions on union employees but not non-unionized employees. U.S. District Judge William Conley said that the law allows workers to assemble and speak and that the government may treat represented workers differently from those who aren’t represented.

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen applauded the ruling in a statement and said he was looking forward to bringing remaining state-level challenges before the Wisconsin supreme court.