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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker continues to prove that he is suffering from delusions of grandeur. He and the Republican lawmakers in his state used questionable tactics to ram through the controversial measure that would eliminate collective bargaining. Democrats maintain that the law was passed illegally and challenged the matter in court. A judge in the state ordered that the law not be published until the court could review the matter. Walker, however, published the law anyway.
Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi ruled earlier this month that Senate Republicans may have violated the state’s open meetings law when it passed the collective-bargaining bill. Judge Sumi said more time was needed to examine the actions of the legislators. Despite her ruling that the law not be published, last week the Legislative Reference Bureau, a legislative service agency not named in the original restraining order because they don’t normally publish laws, went ahead and published the law.
Using that loophole, Walker began to implement the law. The Walker administration announced Sunday that, in accordance with the collective-bargaining bill, it would no longer collect dues on behalf of the unions and that public employees would be charged more for their pension and health-care obligations.
Judge Sumi issued a second order late Tuesday to stop the state from violating her original ruling. In her ruling, Sumi criticized the administration for violating her original ruling. “Apparently that language [in the ruling] was either misunderstood or ignored, but what I said was the further implementation [of the collective-bargaining bill] was enjoined. That is now what I want to make crystal clear,” she said. Sumi warned against legislators who may act “in willful defiance of a court order” may be subjecting them to sanctions.
Even after that clear ruling, Walker is still acting like the bill is law. Walker aide Mike Huebsch issued a statement following the ruling saying the administration will evaluate the new order. “We will continue to confer with our legal counsel and have more information about how to move forward in the near future,” Mr. Huebsch said. The next hearing on the case is Friday.