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Wisconsin's Anti-Union Laws Struck Down by State Court

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on September 18, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker worked hard to pass a law to significantly restricted unions' collective bargaining rights. A ruling by a Wisconsin judge on Friday has effectively undone all of that.

The law was the subject of national debate when it was passed over a year ago. It's been in effect for months and while Walker's popularity suffered for it, he survived a recall election in June. The law also survive a previous suit brought before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, according to Fox News.

This decision throws into doubt about where the law is still in effect. Unions are claiming victory but Walker isn't out of this fight yet.

The governor has vowed to appeal the court's decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, reports Fox News. In the meantime, it's unclear what will happen.

The court's ruling struck down the majority of the law, claiming that it violated both state and federal constitutional protections.

It's not that union collective bargaining is a constitutional right. But targeting union members for more difficult processes because of their union membership violates other constitutional provisions.

The law created different standards for employees who chose union membership which is a violation of the freedom of association as well as freedom of speech, according to the judge.

Just because the decision has struck down the law doesn't mean unions automatically get their collective bargaining rights back, reports MinnPost. Governor Walker will likely seek an injunction to keep the law in place while his appeal is pending.

When laws are struck down by courts, there is often a chance to appeal. Courts may grant an injunction to keep things the same until that appeal is concluded.

Injunctions stop the law from changing back and forth during the legal process which could make it difficult for citizens to know what is legally permissible.

Governor's Walker's anti-collective bargaining law was a shining achievement in his political career. Whether this decision will erase that legacy will be decided on appeal.

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