Good news out of Wisconsin, or for now at least. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan B. Colas overturned Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's anti-union law earlier today, or at least the parts in regards to city, county, and school districts. State employees weren't covered in the ruling.
Says the New York Times:
Judge Colás said the Republican-backed measure, which led to huge union protests, violated union members' freedom of speech and association as well as the equal protection of the laws by subjecting them to penalties not faced by nonunion public employees.
Judge Colás said the law improperly punished workers who exercised their freedom of association to unionize by limiting them to smaller raises (generally no higher than the inflation rate) than nonunion workers could receive.
Naturally, Scott Walker isn't thrilled, and will appeal the decision:
"Sadly, a liberal activist judge in Dane County wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the Legislature and the governor," said Mr. Walker, a Republican. "We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process."
However, legal experts disagree, saying the decision falls within Colas's powers.
Andrew Coan, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, said that while he could not comment on the merits of the case, in general "it is well within the scope of a trial judge's authority to issue an order declaring a state law unconstitutional."
One can only imagine what Walker, the Kochs and other right-wing heavyweights are scheming up to retaliate, but for now this is great news, especially in light of the on-going teacher's strike in Chicago.
[Image via AP]