Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned a decision by a liberal activist judge in Dane County that would have invalidated the law, passed by Wisconsin’s legislature earlier this year, that redefined some public employees’ collective bargaining rights. The result was not unexpected, as Judge Sumi’s decision flew in the face of established Wisconsin law to the effect that courts cannot enjoin the publication of a bill enacted by the legislature. The Supreme Court characterized Judge Sumi’s usurpation harshly:
This court has granted the petition for an original action because one of the courts that we are charged with supervising has usurped the legislative power which the Wisconsin Constitution grants exclusively to the legislature. …
[B]ecause the circuit court did not follow the court’s directive in Goodland, it exceeded its jurisdiction, invaded the legislature’s constitutional powers under Article IV, Section 1 and Section 17 of the Wisconsin Constitution, and erred in enjoining the publication and further implementation of the Act.
This much was, I believe, a foregone conclusion. But the Supreme Court went further, holding on the merits that the legislature did not violate Wisconsin’s open meetings law when it enacted the collective bargaining law. This puts the Democrats’ substantive arguments to rest.
Professor Bill Jacobson has more. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s account is here. It was, in short, a good day not just for fiscal sanity in Wisconsin, but for the rule of law.
UPDATE: Of course, the Democratic Party media are gnashing their teeth. This headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune made me laugh: “Wisconsin Supreme Court lets polarizing union law pushed by Republican governor take effect.” And that was a news story, not an editorial.