Wisconsin Judge Overturns Ban on Collective Bargaining

Gov. Walker vows repeal, calls judge a 'liberal activist'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2012 6:31 PM CDT
People stand in front of the Capital in Madison, Wisconsin, earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Barbara Rodriguez)

(Newser) – Aching for a victory, Wisconsin public unions got one today when a judge struck down most of the state's ban on collective bargaining for public workers, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. Judge Juan Colas said the controversial law violated workers' constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. Gov. Scott Walker—who fought hard for the law—vowed to appeal and branded the judge a "liberal activist," reports the AP. Walker accused Colas of wanting "to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor."

But Lester Pines, an attorney for Wisconsin teachers, said the ruling forces cities, towns, and school districts in the state to once again bargain with public union employees. He said the Supreme Court will likely cast the final ruling, and "what's going to happen in the interim is unknown." The law sparked a fiercely debated recall of Gov. Walker, who not only held office but became America's first governor to win a recall election.

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