Huge victory for Scott Walker, and defeat for public sector unions.
The decision was just posted here. Also embedded at bottom of post.
The collective bargaining law was passed in early 2011, and led to protests, and even a takeover of the State Capitol building. For Wisconsin, the union pushback was a long, strange trip, as we documented exhaustively:
Police insurrections. Palace guards. Catch a Senator contests. Doctors behaving badly. Massive national solidarity protests which weren’t. Identity theft as political theater. Shark jumping. Legislators who run away to other states. Bus bang bangs. Protesters locking their heads to metal railings and pretending to walk like Egyptians. Beer attacks. Canoe flotillas. (alleged) Judicial chokeholds. Tears falling on Che Guevara t-shirts at midnight. Endless recalls. And recounts. Communications Directors making threats. Judges who think they are legislators (well, I’ll grant you that one is common). V-K Day. Hole-y warriors. Cities named Speculation and Conjecture. And the funniest blog headline so far:
In advance of the decision, the McIver Institute documented the positive impact of the law 13 Reasons Act 10 Saved Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports on the ruling:
More than three years after its passage sparked massive protests that jammed the Capitol Square, the state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a divisive state law that sharply curtailed the collective bargaining rights of most public workers.
In a 5-2 decision, the court said that public workers in Wisconsin do not have a constitutional right to bargain collectively.
“We reject the plaintiffs’ argument that several provisions of Act 10, which delineate the rights, obligations and procedures of collective bargaining, somehow infringe upon general employees’ constitutional right to freedom of association,” Justice Michael Gableman wrote for the majority.
“No matter the limitations or ‘burdens’ a legislative enactment places on the collective bargaining process, collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation. The First Amendment cannot be used as a vehicle to expand the parameters of a benefit that it does not itself protect.”