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In an order released today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted certification in Madison Teachers v. Walker, bypassing the court of appeals in that critical Act 10 case. The case arose in Dane County, and the judge’s decision there, declaring the crucial parts of Act 10 to be unconstitutional, led to significant confusion as to the applicability of Act 10’s collective bargaining reforms to other government employee unions around the state.
WILL had previously warned local units of government that the Dane County decision did not create a “window” of opportunity for government employee unions to once again engage in full-fledged collective-bargaining. Unfortunately, at least one unit – the Milwaukee Area Technical College – did so, and WILL had to file a lawsuit against MATC to preserve the status quo until a court with statewide jurisdiction issued a ruling on Act 10.
In light of that confusion – and the willingness of some local government officials to violate the law – we wrote an amicus brief urging the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case now, instead of waiting for the court of appeals to rule. We are happy that the court has chosen to do so. Hopefully the court will hold oral arguments immediately at the beginning of next term in September. If it does so, potentially a ruling could come in late 2013 or early 2014.