Wisconsin Governor Asks Top Court To Toss Legal Challenge to Union Law

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s administration will ask the state’s highest court to take over and then dismiss a legal challenge to legislation limiting public employees’ ability to engage in collective bargaining.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court today is hearing arguments from lawyers for the administration, the state prosecutor who challenged the legality of the law and the trial court judge who last month ruled the measure was the improper product of a state open-meetings law violation.

“The public interest in compliance with the open meetings law outweighs any public interest there might be in sustaining the validity of the action taken,” Dane County state court Judge Maryann Sumi said in her May 26 ruling striking down the law.

Walker, a first-term Republican, signed the challenged legislation on March 11. It requires annual recertification votes for public employees’ union representation and makes their payment of membership dues voluntary.

The cases are State, ex-rel Ozanne v. Fitzgerald, 2011AP613; and State v. Circuit Court for Dane County, 2011AP765, Wisconsin Supreme Court (Madison).

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net; Marie Rohde in Madison, Wisconsin at fmarierohde@gmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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