Federal judge dismisses one of the lawsuits challenging Act 10
MADISON (WITI) — A federal judge on Wednesday, September 11th dismissed one of the lawsuits challenging Act 10 — the law included in Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011 budget that effectively stripped most public unions of their collective bargaining power.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge William Conley dismissed the constitutional challenges in Laborers Local 236, et al. v. Walker, et al.
This lawsuit was filed by Madison public works employees.
The unions claimed that Act 10’s collective bargaining restrictions are unconstitutional — saying the law violates their constitutional rights to assemble freely, and it violates the equal protection clause, in that it treats public safety employees differently.
Conley ruled that the plaintiffs “failed to state a claim for relief under either the First or Fourteenth Amendments.”
Conley also ruled Wednesday that governments can treat represented employees differently than unrepresented employees in regards to bargaining over wages and employment conditions.
This suit made some of the same claims as a separate but related case involving the Wisconsin Education Association (WEAC) — in which the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and invalidated parts of Act 10.
That decision was overturned on appeal and the law was upheld in its entirety.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement on Wednesday’s ruling:
“This case proves, once again, that Act 10 is constitutional in all respects and that the challenges to the law are baseless. I appreciate decisions like this that follow the law, and I look forward to bringing the remaining state court challenges before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where we expect Act 10 to be upheld once again.”
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