DOA Sec. Huebsch asks Supreme Court to vacate restraining order - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

DOA Sec. Huebsch asks Supreme Court to vacate restraining order


MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to allow the state to move forward on an act that strips state workers of most collective bargaining rights.

In the petition to the state's high court, Huebsch asks for the lawsuit filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne to be dismissed and for a temporary restraining order issued by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi to be vacated. The restraining order blocks implementation of the controversial Wisconsin Act 10 that strips collective bargaining rights from state workers, a move that Governor Walker and other Republican leaders say will help the state balance its budget.

Huebsch also asked for a stay of the restraining order and any other proceedings by the circuit court while the Supreme Court reviews the case. Judge Sumi recently asked for several filings and for further testimony in the lawsuit filed by Ozanne.

"A Dane County judge has basically issued a permanent temporary restraining order," said DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch. "In doing so, she has created uncertainty for state and local governments that are relying on the reforms in Wisconsin Act 10 to balance their budgets. As we work to address enormous fiscal challenges, what government needs most now is certainty and that's what we are asking for." 

The following, provided by the Department of Administration, contains the three legal arguments that Huebsch bases the Petition for Supervisory Writ upon:

  • First, that a court may not strike down an act of the Legislature based on an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Law. 
  • Second, that a court does not have the power to prevent an act of the Legislature from taking effect. 
  • Finally, that a court cannot use a TRO to make a declaration of law, only to restrain an act.  The circuit court initially enjoined only the Secretary of State from acting, but later stated that the order prohibited anyone from taking action to implement the new law.  The judge later declared that "Act 10 has not been published…and is therefore not in effect."

"We are confident that Act 10 is now law, but I am not in a position to implement its provisions until the Supreme Court provides guidance about the circuit court's authority and speaks to the constitutional issues that have been raised," Huebsch said.  "Even though the judge stated that she had enjoined me from carrying out my statutory duties, I am not a party to the case before her and that's why I have chosen to seek a review of her orders by petitioning the Supreme Court."

In a release outlining his petition, Huebsch says the Petition was filed directly with the Supreme Court because when the Secretary of State raised many of the same issues with the Appeals Court in March, that court certified the matter directly to the Supreme Court.

He added that his department will not resume implementation of Act 10 until the restraining order is either stayed or vacated.

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