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The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the controversial act that stripped most public sector unions of the right to collectively bargain.
By a 4-3 majority, the Supreme Court ruled that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi had “usurped the legislative power which the Wisconsin constitution grants exclusively to the Legislature” when she issued an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the act due to violations of the state’s open meetings laws. “There is no constitutional requirement that the legislature provide access to as many members of the public as wish to attend meetings of the legislature or meetings of legislative committees,” the court said.
In her dissent from the majority opinion, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson accused the court’s conservative majority of displaying partisanship in their ruling. She also argued that the case should not have been allowed to leapfrog the usual appellate process. “Only with a reasoned, accurate analysis can a court assure the litigants and the public that a decision is made on the basis of facts and law. free from a judge’s personal ideology and free from external pressure by the executive or legislative branches, by partisan political parties, by public opinion or by special interest groups,” she said.
The Secretary of Administration, Mike Huebsch, has said that his office will start implementing the law “when appropriate.”
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