A Wisconsin judge has issued a temporary restraining order that blocks implementation of the new Wisconsin law that restricts most public employee union collective bargaining rights, reports the Associated Press. The law pushed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker was passed in the middle of the night and without notice.
Dane County District Judge Maryann Sumi granted the restraining order in response to a lawsuit filed by the district attorney alleging that Republican lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law by hastily convening a special committee before the Senate passed the bill. ... Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed the lawsuit this week alleging the open meetings law was violated because 24 hours' notice wasn't given for a meeting of the special legislative committee convened to amend the bill.
State officials said they would immediately appeal the judge's decision but GOP lawmakers declined to say whether they might also try the separate tactic of passing the bill through the Legislature again. Sumi's order prevents Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law - and allowing it to take effect - until Sumi can rule on the merits of the case. The next hearing on the case is slated for March 29.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, on Wednesday filed his complaint seeking to block the law because he said a legislative committee violated the state's open meetings law in passing the measure. The committee voted for it March 9, the Legislature quickly passed it and Walker signed it March 11.
Sumi said Ozanne was likely to succeed on the merits of the case. "It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the (collective bargaining law)," she said.
And speaking of open meetings and records: One of the little-known provisions of the bill allows Walker "to name political appointees to fill three dozen civil-service jobs that handle open records requests from the public", reports the Journal Sentinel.
It's time to recall Walker and these right wingers.