Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker

Type of Case: Act 10; First Amendment; Equal Protection; Wisconsin Constitution

Court: Dane County Circuit Court; District IV Court of Appeals; Wisconsin Supreme Court

Case Number: 2011-CV-3774; 2012-AP-2067; 2013-AP-2405

Filed On: August 18, 2011

Current Status: Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld Act 10

Governor Scott Walker’s 2011 reforms turned the realm of public sector employment relations upside down.  2011 Wisconsin Act 10 removed most collective bargaining privileges from the vast majority of state, county, and local employees.  Specifically, for all government employees except those in an expressly defined “public safety” class, Act 10 did four major things: it (1) prohibited collective bargaining on all topics except base wage increases not to exceed the rate of inflation; (2) prohibited so-called “fair share” agreements which force unwilling employees to pay union dues; (3) required bargaining representatives to stand for re-certification elections every year and earn a majority of votes from all represented employees; and (4) prohibited employees from paying their union dues through payroll deductions.

Various unions filed four lawsuits, asserting numerous constitutional challenges to those changes.  In each, WILL has partnered with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to represent government employees who object to union representation, helping to defend Act 10.  Because these government employees have interests and rights that are not adequately represented either by the State or the unions, we have filed amicus briefs or sought to intervene as full-fledged parties in each case.

In the MTI case, Judge Juan Colas granted summary judgment to the unions, striking down the heart of Act 10’s reforms as applied to local government (county, municipal, school district, etc.) employees.  He also struck down the requirement that City of Milwaukee employees pay the employee share of pension contributions.  On appeal, the court of appeals certified the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where Oral argument was held in November, 2012.  While the case was pending before the supreme court, several non-party unions filed a motion in circuit court seeking contempt against WERC for going forward with recertification elections.  WILL filed an amicus brief opposing that motion.  The circuit court held WERC in contempt, although a month later the Wisconsin Supreme Court vacated that contempt order.

On July 31, 2014, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed Judge Colas, upholding Act 10 in its entirety.

Case Documents

 Size: 6 MB Complaint  Size: 765 KB Answer  Size: 13 MB Amicus Brief  Size: 6 MB Court Order Granting Summary Judgment to Plaintiffs  Size: 6 MB Defendant's Stay Motion Brief  Size: 2 MB Plaintiff's Brief in Opposition to Stay  Size: 8 MB Defendant's Stay Motion Reply Brief  Size: 289 KB Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Reply Brief  Size: 842 KB Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Judgment  Size: 289 KB Defendant's Brief in Opposition to Amendment  Size: 45 KB Court Order Denying Motion to Stay  Size: 332 KB Appellant's Brief  Size: 3 MB Appellant's Supplemental Brief  Size: 3 MB Respondent's Brief  Size: 1,010 KB Respondent's Supplemental Brief  Size: 2 MB Appellant's Supplemental Reply Brief  Size: 4 MB Reply Brief  Size: 4 MB Amicus Brief - Laborers Local 236 and AFSCME  Size: 4 MB Amicus Brief - City of Madison  Size: 347 KB Amicus Brief - Individual Government Employees  Size: 528 KB Amicus Brief - WCMIC  Size: 772 KB Amicus Brief - Joint Unions  Size: 1 MB Court of Appeals Order Denying Stay  Size: 2 KB Court of Appeals Certification  Size: 2 MB Amicus Brief in support of certification - WILL  Size: 778 KB Appellant's Brief  Size: 609 KB Respondent's Brief  Size: 389 KB Appellant's Reply Brief  Size: 469 KB Respondent's Surreply Brief  Size: 303 KB Amicus Brief - WILL  Size: 228 KB Circuit Court - Order on Injunction  Size: 4 MB Motion for Contempt against Comissioners  Size: 1 MB State Response to Motion for Contempt  Size: 2 MB Amicus Brief in Opposition to Motion for Contempt  Size: 135 KB Order for Contempt  Size: 1 MB Emergency Stay Motion (Court of Appeals)  Size: 812 KB Emergency Stay Motion (Supreme Court)  Size: 2 MB Amicus Brief - WILL (Court of Appeals)  Size: 1 MB Response Brief to Stay Motion (Court of Appeals)  Size: 584 KB Supreme Court Decision
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