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Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds collective bargaining reform law “in its entirety”

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds collective bargaining reform law “in its entirety”

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 guardsCatch a Senator contests.  Doctors behaving badly.  Massive national solidarity protests which weren’tIdentity 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 EgyptiansBeer attacksCanoe 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 DayHole-y warriors.  Cities named Speculation and Conjecture.  And the funniest blog headline so far:

First They Came For The Right To Retire After 30 Years On Full Salary With COLAs

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.”


Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Collective Bargaining Law


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LOL – send a tea bag to Richard Trumka in celebration.

Karen Sacandy | July 31, 2014 at 9:15 am

Andrew Breitbart was there. He was so great….

Calypso Facto | July 31, 2014 at 9:46 am

A great day for democracy!

This is very good news!

This should happen across the country, especially CA (my former state) and NY (my current one). We are all absolute slaves to the public sector. Serfdom.

The OTHER ruling out of the court was no less grand…

Voter ID law upheld.

Was anybody attacked by Ann Walsh Bradley in an attempt to get this ruling out today?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | July 31, 2014 at 11:04 am

Kinda disappointed you did not see this as an opportunity to post the picture of the woman who bicycle locked her head to a bannister railing at the capitol.

What some people will do to pay higher taxes.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 31, 2014 at 11:33 am

I never understood how a lowly district judge could over turn laws & in Wisconsin’s case , the very protocols of passing a law ( in that case the Wisconsin Senate ) .

Or how anyone can just rock up to vote , as in Wisconsin , with an electricity bill as ID.

But like Maggot said – the pics were gold . It was a very special day when the local Madison weekend hobby farmers drove their tractors in a convoy to town as protest . A special prize for Faux Agrarian Socialist wannabes .

It is all so strange because Wisconson is almost Teutonic .

So now they recall the justices, right?

I hope he becomes President Scott Walker

There are two glaring problems with Act 10. The first was that the state legislature set the standards and conditions for all government agencies with regard to contracts between individual groups of employees and those agencies. This is fine where state agencies are concerned and may even be applicable if money directly received from the state is used for wages and benefits. However, Act 10 goes beyond that and imposes such standards and conditions upon such contracts even if no state money is involved. What this does is usurp the right of local citizens to negotiate their own contracts with regard to salaries and benefits of the employees of their political subdivision.

The second problem was that not all unions representing public employees were affected.There were three large unions who were exempted from the provisions of Act 10, a police union, a firefighters union and one representing detention facility employees. All were supporters of Walker during his election campaign. All of the effected unions supported Walker’s opponent. Does this signify that Act 10 was more of a political payback than it was a well thought-out cost saving measure? Hmmm.

When all of this was going on, no one addressed the true problem, politicians. None of the unions affected had “forced” the contracts involved on the people of the state. No politician’s family was held hostage to force approval of these contracts. No politician was assassinated to remove his opposition to these contracts. The politicians involved in agreeing to these Cadillac contracts did so for their own personal gain. Then when the economy tanked and they needed to curb the spending that they had agreed to when the economy was good, they made the public sector unions the scape goat. All of the unions affected offered to renegotiate portions of their benefit packages and freeze wages to offset the reductions in public money. All of these efforts were rejected, by the state Republicans and later by local politicians. Act 10 was designed to do three specific things; 1) punish the unions which did not support Walker and the Republican in Wisconsin, 2) break existing contracts that the governments of the state could no longer afford, & 3) break the future political power of the public sector unions. The residents of Wisconsin had better hope that the Democrats do not regain power, or a new public unions act may come about which will set standards much more favorable to the unions.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Mac45. | July 31, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for a fact-based listing of the “political sausage” aspects of the bill.
    I have to say, though, that I am joyful of the outcome. Here in CA we have tight politician/media/public-sector-union coordination that has created an unsustainable dynamic. Public unions buy Dem politicians. Dem politicians create more gov’t programs. More people are hired for the jobs, with auto-contributions to the Dem party from their paycheck via union dues. Benefits and salaries are fattened. Media studiously avoids looking too deeply.

    It will come crashing down and it *is* the fault of voters who don’t want to pay attention. But what a tragedy…

    If WI is able to escape that gravitational pull, hooray! Hopefully they will extend the rules to more unions, not undo the progress already made.

      As Rush said years ago, public unions are no more and no less than a huge money-laundering operation for the Democrat party. Even FDR believed there never should be public unions and I couldn’t agree more.

    Despite former governor Scott McCallum’s best efforts (torpedoed by his fellow “Republicans”), every local government entity receives at least some revenue sharing from the state. Therefore, there is state money involved.

    The reason why the local entities, mostly school boards, agreed to those contracts was because they were wholly-owned by the unions, mostly WEAC.

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | August 1, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Bogus arguments.

    1. Local governments are creatures of the state. They only exist because state law says they do. So it’s entirely proper for the state to restrict them from making these kinds of contracts which are blatantly against the interest of their taxpayers. The absence of any state money is immaterial.

    2. The exemption of three pro-Walker unions doesn’t at all indicate that the bill is “political payback”. At most it indicates is that these exemptions were political rewards. Instead of curing 100% of the problem, Walker chose to cure only 95%; so what? Later, in the next administration or the one after that, the exemptions can be revoked. Or, if these favored unions are careful not to abuse their exemptions, perhaps they’ll get to keep them. Why should that bother anyone?

    3. This one is utter bull, and I’m sure you know it. The unions certainly did obtain these contracts by coercion: not by assassination or kidnapping, but by getting their agents elected to conduct the “negotiations” with them, so they were on both sides of the table, selling out the taxpayers. Policitians elected by the unions, i.e. all Democrats, ought to have recused themselves from any contract negotiation with the unions. Instead they colluded with their sponsors to cheat the taxpayers. Public service unions are by definition conspiracies against the public interest, and should be smashed.

    geoih in reply to Mac45. | August 1, 2014 at 7:30 am

    The people being held hostage were the people of Wisconsin who didn’t like the union contracts. If a private company chooses to make a contract with a union, you can decide to no longer buy their products or services, you can not invest in their company, but if your state makes a contract with a union, then you have no choice but to support it.

    The Democrats would change the rules anyway, law suit or no law suit. At least there is a small window of time where the contracts are less political. Arguing that it was a waste of time because the other side could just change it back later is an argument for doing nothing at all.

The majority opinion was right on regarding the difference between the constitutional right to organize a group and petition and the statutory provisions for collective bargaining. Anyone can still organize a union but collective bargaining rights are the result of statute law. Indeed not all states recognize or allow public sector bargaining. States set the parameters for public employee bargaining by statute and what they create they can change or even abolish. It is interesting that unions in Wisconsin feel they must have compelled union dues and automatic dues collection (checkoff) or people won’t join. They’re right, experience now shows that public employees even in “progressive” Wisconsin, given a choice now, are bailing out of unions.

    To paraphrase from the recent Supreme Court decision about home care workers, the unions don’t need all that money to collectively bargain. They need that money to crusade for the Revolution. I am a person of very small means right now and nothing burns me more than those who wrongfully whine about how poor they are.

Not a peep on NBC Nightly News. I’m sure the rest of the sycophant media will studiously ignore it as well.

A privilege granted by government can be taken away by government.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”, and the Bill of Rights merely documents what those Rights are. They are NOT granted by government and therefore government can NOT take them away.

Reminder: Democrats don’t believe any of this. If you vote for them, don’t be surprised when they try to take your rights away, permanently.

JackRussellTerrierist | August 1, 2014 at 12:42 am

Governor, keep walking softly and swinging that big stick.

Keep hitting ’em where it hurts.