A federal appeals court has just ruled that Governor Walker’s collective bargaining law is legal.
On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld Act 10 in its entirety.
Seven public unions, including the teachers’ union and the largest statewide public sector union, challenged the law’s constitutionality in 2011.
U.S. District Judge William Conley in March overturned part of the law requiring unions hold elections each year for members to retain their official status. The judge also said the law illegally halted the automatic withdrawal of union dues.
Gov. Scott Walker said the provisions in Act 10 were “vital in balancing the state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit without increasing taxes, without massive public employee layoffs and without cuts to programs like Medicaid.”
Unsurprisingly, Governor Walker has already called this ruling a “victory for taxpayers” (note to Gov. Walker: public employees ARE taxpayers), and the Democrats are not pleased. Here’s State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca’s statement via FB:
“While the Seventh Circuit Court upheld Act 10 on narrow legal grounds, the court did acknowledge that Act 10 appears to be an act of favoritism for ‘friends’ and punishing enemies. While that approach may be legal, the Judge David Hamilton notes that ‘the United States Constitution does not forbid all legislation that rewards friends and punishes opponents.’
“Given the recent focus on bipartisanship, now would be a good opportunity to move away from positions the court acknowledges are likely favoritism and punishment. We must find real solutions the Wisconsin way of sitting down together and rolling up our sleeves to tackle problems with all stakeholders to repair some of the damage that has been done by this law. We are not a state that should have laws in place to settle partisan vendettas.”
Governor Walker may have won this round, but this fight is far from over.