Judge Blocks Filing of Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law


This isn’t as big a deal as it sounds. A county judge blocked the publishing of the Wisconsin collective bargaining law.

JS Online reported:

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order Friday, barring the publication of a controversial new law that would sharply curtail collective bargaining for public employees.

Sumi’s order will prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law until she can rule on the merits of the case. Dane County Ismael Ozanne is seeking to block the law because he says a legislative committee violated the state’s open meetings law.

Sumi said Ozanne was likely to succeed on the merits.

First of all, the legislature can just go ahead and pass it again. And the Blog Prof points out that Sumi erred in her finding, so it could be overturned.

At issue is that the process violated the open meetings act requiring 24-hour notice before a committee votes a bill out. However, the judge erred in that th law does not apply to special sessions of the legislature, only regular sessions, and indeed the WI Senate passed the bill out of committee during special session. Notice was sent out anyway, but why keep that from standing in the way of bald-faces judicial activism? So the question needs to be asked: did she even read the stipulation of the law to special sessions? Isn’t this interfering in the legislative process by an independent branch? You know – the whole separation of powers thing?

Ed Morrissey noted the reason Sumi issued the restraining order today.

Why issue a TRO today? Because, er … Sumi was going on vacation, as reported last Tuesday (via GR contributor Patrick Ishmael):

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi warned she likely won’t decide whether to stop implementation of Gov. Scott Walker’s law when she hears testimony on a preliminary injunction on Friday. And after that hearing, Sumi said, she will be out of state on a family vacation until March 28, three days after the expected publication date of the bill.

Doesn’t that just figure.

Find more commentary at Left Coast Rebel, Althouse, Patterico’s Pontifications and the Volokh Conspiracy. (Via memeorandum)