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Aug
2014
1

Act 10 Was Upheld in Wisconsin. May We All Bask in the Glow of the Dissenting Opinion.

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You’ve seen the (bad) news. Scott Walker’s trademark anti-union law, Act 10, was upheld by the state Supreme Court yesterday. No surprise there considering the court’s party affiliation, though the finality of the matter packs a bit more gut-punch this time around.

So let’s all gather ’round the middle class campfire once more to celebrate just how miserable this governor and this legislation are, and give thanks for the almighty, all-important dissenting opinion:

Bradley writes in the dissent that the majority ignores the plaintiffs’ claim that Act 10 infringes on the constitutional right to organize into a collective bargaining unit, and erroneously focuses on the right to bargain as a collective bargaining unit, and then determines no such right exists.

MTI claimed that Act 10, by requiring annual recertification elections, eliminating fair share agreements and prohibiting municipalities from withholding dues from employee wages discourages the exercise of the associational right to organize.

A constitutional right to organize as a collective bargaining unit is a well-established premise, the “sacredness” of which was stressed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court as early as 1902 and which the U.S. Supreme Court has declared a fundamental right, Bradley writes.

And what of the First Amendment? It’s of no use to the Walker court in Bradley’s eyes:

“There is no doubt that these provisions act to discourage membership,” Bradley concludes.

Act 10 also creates unconstitutional conditions by barring workers organized under a collective bargaining agreement from negotiating anything other than an increase in base wages up to the amount of inflation, Bradley writes.

“This is the textbook definition of an unconstitutional condition,” she concludes. “By permitting such a statute to stand, the majority greatly dilutes the First Amendment on the right to freedom of association.”

Feel better now? Me neither.

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