The Corner

Wisconsin Supreme Court Debates Walker’s Union Law

In 2011, when Wisconsin governor Scott Walker effectively ended collective bargaining for most public employees, the state erupted in a cacophonic tantrum. But now, as Walker’s plan works its way through local and state court systems, the din has become a hush.

Yesterday, the state supreme court heard arguments in deciding whether to issue a stay against a lower court ruling that invalidated Walker’s plan. In 2012, Circuit Court judge Juan Colas of Dane County (the county surrounding notoriously liberal Madison) determined Walker’s plan was unconstitutional. Colas ruled that the plan violated workers’ rights to free speech, free association, and equal representation because it capped union workers’ pay, but not those who were unrepresented.

Yet Colas did not issue an injunction blocking the state Employment Relations Commission from implementing the law, leaving it unclear as to whether the law was still in place or not. Some local governments have refused to negotiate with unions, considering them to be decertified. Others have continued to bargain with public-sector unions as if the law were never passed.

The hearing in the Supreme Court yesterday, then, was to determine whether to stay Colas’s ruling, which would provide clarity for the state and local governments. Issuing a stay against Colas would allow local governments to move ahead with certification elections for unions — elections that, now that government employees aren’t required to be in unions, would most likely see certification voted down. (Also at issue is Colas’s ruling in which he found two state employment-relations commissioners in contempt of court for moving ahead with state certification elections.)

If the court issues an emergency stay, it could be in effect immediately. The court is expected to rule on the merits of Colas’s overall ruling in the summer. Currently, the court is split 4–3 in favor of conservatives, and has already upheld Walker’s law on procedural grounds.

— Christian Schneider is a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Most Popular

Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More

The New GOP

Ronald Reagan was dubbed the “Great Communicator.” Donald Trump might well be labeled the “Great Accelerator.” U.S. politics was polarized before President Trump, with both coalitions motivated mostly by fear of each other. We have gotten more polarized since Trump rode down that escalator. The Upper ... Read More

The New GOP

Ronald Reagan was dubbed the “Great Communicator.” Donald Trump might well be labeled the “Great Accelerator.” U.S. politics was polarized before President Trump, with both coalitions motivated mostly by fear of each other. We have gotten more polarized since Trump rode down that escalator. The Upper ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More