Lawmakers are reacting to the state Supreme Court's ruling that allows collective bargaining restrictions to go into effect.More >>
MADISON (WKOW) -- In a landmark decision ending months of uncertainty, the state Supreme Court struck down the last remaining obstacle for the collective bargaining law to take effect.
In a 4 to 3 decision, the high court overturned a temporary restraining order issued by a Dane County judge blocking the law from being published.
The court sided with Republican arguments that blocking the law was a separation of powers issue.
In the majority opinion, justices wrote that Dane County District Judge Maryann Sumi had "usurped" legislative power by issuing the ruling.
"[The ruling showed] the arrogance of one judge in Madison/Dane County courts who felt she could do whatever she wanted to do and not do the rule of law," said Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills.
Sumi had issued the restraining order in part on the finding that Republicans had violated the state's open meetings law during a key committee hearing. According to testimony, Republican leaders gave less than the minimally-required two hours of notice.
The court declined to review the issue of the amount of required notice, saying the legislature relied "on its interpretation of its own rules," and that the court doesn't have jurisdiction in that area.
Democrats say the ruling goes against the intent of open meetings law.
"We, in passing this law said enforce it. Hold us accountable. And if [the Supreme Court] will not enforce that, they will not enforce anything," said minority leader Peter Barca.
While both Democratic and Republican lawmakers lobbed claims of partisanship back and forth, so did the justices.
In a concurring opinion, Justice David Prosser implied that Sumi had not been objective, adding that judges "should not insert themselves into controversies or exacerbate existing tension."
Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson fired back in a dissenting opinion.
She wrote that Justice Prosser's concurrence "is long on rhetoric and long on story-telling that appears to have a partisan slant."
The court's ruling means public workers will be paying more for health care and pension benefits. It amounts to about an 8 percent pay cut.
Republican leadership Tuesday said those deductions will not be retroactive, but leaders wouldn't say exactly when the cuts will take effect.
The ruling also means most public employees will lose all collective bargaining rights, except for the right to negotiate base pay.
The law becomes effective one day after it is published by Secretary of State Doug LaFollette.
Click here to see a timeline of the budget battle.
MADISON (WKOW) -- The state Supreme Court has struck down Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi's restraining order on the collective bargaining law.
Governor Scott Walker released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court ruling, "The Supreme Court's ruling provides our state the opportunity to move forward together and focus on getting Wisconsin working again."
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) released the following statement: "We've been saying since day one that Republicans passed the budget repair bill correctly, so frankly this isn't much of a surprise. We followed the law when the bill was passed, simple as that.
A spokesperson for Democratic Rep. Peter Barca says they're reviewing the court's decision.
The Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch says their department is reviewing the Supreme Court's order and "will begin implementing Act 10 when appropriate."
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