Wisconsin Public Worker Union Law to Get Top Court Review

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court today said it will hear Governor Scott Walker’s appeal of a 2012 trial court ruling that struck down parts of his legislation curbing the union-organizing rights of some public employees.

Trial court Judge Juan Colas in Madison ruled last year that parts of Walker’s 2011 legislation unduly burdened affected workers’ constitutional rights to free speech and free association.

The measure, known as Act 10, required annual recertification votes for union representation and made voluntary the payment of union dues. Some groups of public safety officers were exempted from its provisions.

A three-judge panel of Wisconsin’s intermediate-level Court of Appeals in April asked the state’s highest court to decide the issue after the Walker administration appealed the Colas decision.

“It’s hard to imagine a dispute with greater statewide effect or greater need for a final resolution by the Supreme Court,” the appellate judges said in their 24-page request.

A Chicago-based federal appeals court in January upheld Act 10 in its entirety in a separately filed case.

The case is Madison Teachers Inc. v. Walker, 2012-ap-02067, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District IV (Madison). The trial-court case is Madison Teachers Inc. v. Walker, 11-cv-03774, Dane County, Wisconsin, Circuit Court, Branch 10 (Madison).

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