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Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Law That Limits Union Collective Bargaining

May 31, 2011 by  

Wisconsin judge rules against law that limits union collective bargainingA circuit court judge in Wisconsin has struck down the State’s law that strips nearly all collective-bargaining rights from public employees.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi overturned the highly debated legislation, ruling that GOP lawmakers broke the State’s open meetings laws by approving it. Her decision likely will be reviewed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The news provider reports that Sumi’s decision may prompt Republican lawmakers to pass the measure again. Earlier this year, the legislative process to advance the bill — which would limit collective bargaining right for most public employees and cut their health and pension benefits — gained national attention.

In February, thousands of pro-union protesters, as well as some Tea Party advocates, gathered outside of the Wisconsin State Capitol to express their opinions regarding the law. Fourteen State Senators, all Democrats, fled the State to avoid meeting the quorum that was required to vote on the measure.

Republican lawmakers eventually passed the law on March 9, and it was signed by Governor Scott Walker on March 11. Walker has said that the law will help close the State’s $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

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  • s c

    Interesting name [Sumi/sue me]. It might not be a bad idea to get used to suing people like her. Wisconsin seems to be the midwestern branch of the fruits, nuts and flakes society of America (usually known as California). For as long as they’ve tried, they still can’t understand that utopian “goals” and reality simply don’t mix.
    If all it takes in Wisconsin to overturn a law is a an opinion of a circuit judge, then the tables need to be turned, and then do to the utopian retards what they’ve tried to do to the normal, responsible people of Wisconsin.
    Come on, Wisconsin. Grow a pair, and GROW UP.

    • oldtimeyman

      Activist judges have long been the “secret weapon” of progressive Democrats,(along with the main-stream media). We can do little about the media except get our news from reliable sources, but we can sure as hell IMPEACH activist judges.

      Do it, Wisconsin. Impeach the bitch.

      • Robert Smith

        Since when did union members stop being people? After all they are faced with hostile management, stockholders, and just as many regulations as corporate America in how they act.

        I think it’s good a group of people can speak and be heard.


    • nax777

      George I, Bill, George II and Barack have all lead us to today. The era of fear continues and our children are going to grow up with government workers shoving their hands between their legs because this is the America you want and did not grow up in yourself!
      Or is this the kind of national defense that you wish you would have grown up in?
      Too many people or more brain washed by the media than care to admit out of fear! Speak sound bites and wear a leash is the new motto that Dem and Pub supporters live by today.

      I am out of patients and will strive to have words hit like a ton bricks and let the chips fall where they may!

      Replace the powers with citizens that can be immediately removed by citizens and never serve for a life time. We must take control ourselves. Please join with us at you might be able to click on my name. This will take you to my link page that links to, and

      P.S. Have you heard of “you cut”

  • Laws

    When if ever will we the people awake and remove Judges that make the law and strike down the law they don’t agree with. When did these nut cases receive such power? The congress is suppose to pass the law and the voters vote on issues that affect their lives and WHAM O some liberal Judge over turns the will of the people. Get a rope and stop this nonsense.

    • Charles bond

      I heard someone say it is time to strike down judges.

      • Charles bond


        • Robert Smith

          Yup, if they are on the extreme right then they are OK legislating from the bench. Thanks for that clear demonstration of the right wing double standard.


  • http://gunner689 gunner689

    The Will of the People means little when it can be overturned by the decisions of activist judges.

    • DavidL

      Activism form which direction, right or left? It comes from both.

      • Brad


        I’d love to see the day when Judges rule on law instead of idealogical/political affiliations, judges are suppose to be non-partisan. From what I have heard Judges Sumi should have recused herself from the case, her son belongs to a union, funny isn’t it, a Judge siding with the unions to save her own flesh a job.

    • Goose

      Neither does the will of the people mean much when politicians pass laws that go contrary to what the people want.

    • Robert Smith

      Actually gunner the will of the people was tested twice in Oregon with the assisted suicide bill.

      Then Ashcroft, Bush’s bully dog, tried the courts to overturn the will of the people.

      Seems to me the right should have accepted the will of the people on that one.

      And Gore won the popular vote. What about the will of those people?


      • Matt Newell

        But he lost because he didn’t have the Electoral College votes. Those votes are needed to win, and he knew that from the beginning. If he didn’t know than why was he running?

  • TJ from NC

    Allow bargaining — just bargain harder!

    • Bud

      Bargain harder? How? When the folks sitting across from the union negotiators are beholden to the unions for their campaign support, thus making them in effect also agents of the unions, it does not work to the benefit of the taxpayers.

      • eddie47d

        Bud; I see you had your bowl of BS for breakfast this morning along with a few others. None of you have a clue in how the Middle Class is being systematically destroyed and you have the audacity to attack other Middle Class workers because they belong to a union. Gov Walker played a sick Republican game. They skirted the real issue of corporate influence and their multi million dollar salaries. Gov Walker needed a scapegoat so he sucker punched unions which in essence cut the Middle Class out of the picture while his cronies became wealthier. The Middle Class and unions have been sucker punched one time too many while the wealthy are immune to painful cuts.Collective bargaining is mostly a non issue yet Walker used it for smoke and mirrors and to rile up division. It’s a shame that so many fall for this anti-union trash talk.

        • AzPatriot

          Amazing! Eddie47d (d for democrat?) can recite the union talking points verbatim. Good job Eddie! There was a time and a place for unions in the general workforce but that was a long time ago. There has NEVER been a need for unions in the government workforce, EVER! Even Franklin Roosevelt saw the danger of that. it is time to abolish collective bargaining for any government job period.

          • eddie47d

            Many Americans don’t need unions for their companies are responsible and have changed their ways years ago. Unfortunately the reverse is happening again and collective bargaining is sorely needed in some of those companies.I think it’s great that a company can give good benefits without a union but that is not always the case.

          • independant thinker

            eddie we are NOT talking about companies we are talking about government.

          • eddie47d

            I T; It was the same for government workers in the 60′s and earlier. Low pay and few benefits and now it’s much better. If you think it’s more than they deserve for the work they do then you have a valid point. If you are only jealous that make more than you then get over yourself.

        • jeanelane

          I used to live in Wisconsin. I saw how some unions worked. Get laid off and you somehow make as much money as you did when you were working. And that was NOT unemployment. It was union money. I know there was a time for unions, perhaps still is to eliminate the nasty stuff, or keep it from coming back. But greed has no place ANYWHERE! We have to stop it someplace. Don’t know where that someplace is, maybe corporate upper management.

          Folks worry about the middle class. When China calls all their loans to the U.S.A., there will be no more middle class. Just wait. But then the Dems may be in heaven with the government giving you everything and telling you when you can use the toilet.

        • Ellen

          The governor already stated months ago – when the Democrats hid – that if this law doesn’t pass, there will be layoffs. It seems that the best situation for the union workers is to give up their collective bargaining (which shouldn’t be allowed in govt unions anyway). Instead, they would prefer to push their state further into debt and cause layoffs of fellow workers. That’s illogical.

  • Dad

    OK…. so start laying-off the union commies… Twenty-five percent for starters.

    These people are not your compassionate neighbors… they are coming after us all with aggression, malace and, as we have witnessed, violence.

  • Danny Kirkpatrick

    Democracy: when a majority of the people elect a person to represent them in the state house, then that person votes for lawsstatutes, to help the people of there state. NOWHERE in any state or nation’s constitution does it give any judge the power to change or block the will of the people. A judge is only job is to uphold the law. All judges must be ” A “, political, if not they only serve part of the people. The President of the United States of America, once in office must be ” A “, political, or he/she only serves part of the people.

  • Lenny C.

    I would like to remind all that this law was about public sector unions, not private sector ones.
    Lets look at the traditional differences between working in the private sector V’s public sector jobs. When you entered the work force you chose between civil service, or private sector. Traditionally when you worked for the privet sector you could earn more money, and get better benefits. But had less job security. If you chose civil service you traded earning more for better job security.
    But over the years this has reversed. Because the public sector unions would hold the city, county, or states hostage by threatening to strike, and cause shut downs of public services. Then when you throw the corrupt politicians into the mix, the various governments ended up with bloated payrolls, through patronage. This has lead to out of control costs. And is the number one reason so many governments at all levels are in such deep financial crises.
    If everyone took the time to read and understand this law, you would see that its not as far reaching as those (union leaders) would like you to believe.
    In closing, I would like to ask. Why did we ever need International, or even National unions in the first place?
    P.S. I was once a member of SEIU, and am a vested member of the Teamster’s unions. The later ultimately priced me right of of a job.

    • Polski

      Because the corporate executives cheated the employees who worked. This is happening more than ever now. Unions are more necessary than ever before.

  • Dan az

    Sorry edduh
    The days of the union thugs are coming to a close.You think that all tax payers should just bend over and smile,I don’t think so.The unions not the corporate elite are the problem and you know it.You just refuse to see it.
    The reason jobs left the states is because of the unions thinking that they alone control the pay and feel with out (them)there would be no jobs.Just a little back wards don’t you think?You must of been a shop steward because of your defense of all unions.You are not in the union now so why not look at the damage they are doing to the business’s and forcing them to leave to try make a better profit to keep there doors open.Why dont you start your own business and provide the same pay and benefits that you say is just being fair.why not?Because you know just as well as the rest of us that it is not sustainable.Take a loan out on your house and start one if you feel that the risks aren’t that great.I’ll bet you never had a business and took any risk in your life.Am I right?Even Harley Davidson is moving because of the unions.Sure NAFTA started the surge but the unions never backed off they just blame the corporate elite because they can afford to because they make more money than you.The state is broke what part of that don’t you get?If they cant get their house in order, what would you suggest, file bankruptcy and make everyone else to help out because you don’t want to give up your bennies, what about obumer care added to the mess oh thats right just get a waiver and let everyone else pay first for the next five yrs and then have VA style health care that will work,right? Look eddie even the people on SSI haven’t had a raise in a couple of yrs and are still going broke,who is going to help them?Just like wisconsin the guvmnt is broke, know one left to bail us out the money tree has dried up.That’s the problem with socialism it dosent work when you run out of other peoples money.The unions time has come to an end and you really know that in your heart but will not give in because you have been a union member all your life,I know its not easy to give up the brain washing but now its time.Think about it.

    • eddie47d

      Dan; You keep stroking those corporate elites and pampering them with absorbent salaries. Their time has come and gone since they pick pocketed all the wealth from the USA. This country tried it their way and it didn’t work. The Middle Class got screwed while they raked in millions. The bottom line is that everyone needs to take a cut and those corporate elites never got the message.

      • Dan az

        Give me a break.You know you don’t really believe that allinsky crap.

        • Robert Smith

          Dan, the rich really are getting richer and the poor are really getting poorer and dying because they can’t get health care except in an emergency.


        • eddie47d

          Wake up Dan.

        • Polski

          Why would you pay a CEO $19 MILLION a year when you could get a better one from India for $50,000 a year.

          Jack Welch and Roger Smith both got pensions that were twice their salaries before their retirement.

          Who determines the actions of a company? It’s the CEO, not the working peons who belong to the union or the union leaders.

          Did Walker of Wisconsin volunteer to work for $1 a year? No? What a surprise.

  • Bob from Calif.

    Just another crooked liberal judge making another crooked decision. Abusing their power trying to push their statist dogma on this beautiful land of the once free.

  • chuckb

    judges should be elected to office by the public and elected for a term, especially the supreme court. it is getting to the point the judges are running the country instead of qualifying the law.

    • Lenny C.

      Actually a lot of the judges are elected (@ State, & county level). Others we can vote on to retain them, or not. The problem is that there is no way to know, (except when there is a high profile case) what these judges are doing on the bench. Who has time to follow each judges record? I have dozen of ideas to help fix government. But not a clue how to deal with the judicial branch.

  • chuckb

    lenny c, the supreme court justice are appointed for a life term. we need to change that. i agree people are not given information on these judges when they run for state and county, this is where the nut cases get in. we need to determine a 3-4 year term and have them present a full disclosure of their political view on the ballot.

    • Polski

      The politicians should be elected for ONE TERM only.

      The CEOs, Board of Directors, and executives should be allowed 4 years and then out.


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