Anti-union law not actually the law, despite what the media says

As pointed out by both MAL and the ever-brilliant illusory tenant, the anti-union bill proposed by Republican Governor Scott Walker and ramrodded through a vote by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald may not actually be law, despite statements by Walker and Fitzgerald that the law will take effect today. The law was published by the Legislative Reference Bureau, which by state law must public bills within ten days of passage, but the issue seems far from being settled.

Publication of the law by the Secretary of State had been halted after Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed suit against publication of the law, arguing that the law was passed in violation of the state’s open meetings law. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi issued an injunction preventing publication of the law, stating:

I do, therefore, restrain and enjoin the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10. The next step in implementation of that law would be the publication of that law by the Secretary of State.

While it’s been argued Judge Sumi’s order preventing publication of the law didn’t apply to the Legislative Reference Bureau, it seems pretty clear from her order that any further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 (such as publication of the law by the Legislative Reference Bureau) was barred by Judge Sumi’s order. Just because a partisan hack and legal lightweight like Scott Fitzgerald says something is law doesn’t make it so.


Related Articles

32 thoughts on “Anti-union law not actually the law, despite what the media says

  1. Except, at least as I understand it, the Dane County DA sued, seeking an injunction to prevent the Secretary of State from publishing the law. So can her “kinda sorta ruling, but not really, just put a hold on things while I take a vacation” actually do anything about the LRB which wasn’t involved in the lawsuit brought before her?

    1. “I do, therefore, restrain and enjoin the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10.”
      I’m sure you’d agree that publication of the law, whether by the Secretary of State or the Legislative Reference Bureau, consists of “further implementation” of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10.

      1. But again – that wasn’t the suit brought before her. I file for a restraining order against you – the judge can’t turn around and say, “Granted – and also let’s tack on Jim and Bob and Cindy too.”

        1. But again, she didn’t name specific individuals, did she? She simply stated she was restraining and enjoining the further implementation of the law.

          If she restrained and enjoined the further implementation of the law, I’m wondering how the LRB felt they could further implement the law by publishing it.

          1. So she could rule that no one anywhere can implement such a law? Of course not. There are jurisdictional limitations to what judges can rule. Her ruling should be limited to the parties before her in her court.

            I’m wondering how the LRB felt they could further implement the law by publishing it.

            I don’t know. The issue of whether their publication officially puts the law into force or not is subject to debate – I’ve seen arguments both ways. But that is tangential to my argument. LRB clearly & unambiguously has a statutory requirement to publish. And since they weren’t named in the suit or properly before the court, Sumi’s ruling shouldn’t apply to them.

            1. If the question of whether or not the LRB’s so-called publication of the law renders it in effect is tangential to your argument, what is the relevance of your argument to the matter at hand?

              You want to argue a fine legal point just for the hell of it?

              1. Here are the relevant facts as I see them.

                A Marquette University constitutional law professor says the LRB has no constitutional authority to publish a law.

                Doug La Follette, who as secretary of State does have constitutional authority, wrote a letter rescinding his original publication date in the wake of the Sumi TRO ruling, which explicitly identifies his office.

                Mike Huebsch is ignoring the court, the Secretary of State, and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin in deciding to treat the law as in effect.

                Thanks a 7.5 million Mike.

                Your witness, Locke.

                1. A Marquette University constitutional law professor says the LRB has no constitutional authority to publish a law.

                  And another law professor at Marquette says just the opposite.

                  The SOS’s requirement is to set the date of publication. He did. The LRB published, because that’s their requirement.

                  La Follette attempted to rescind the date he set. It’s not at all clear if he has the power to rescind the date he previously set – it is not covered by the statute – that scenario is not addressed.

                    1. My ear, nose and throath specialist recently prescribed a course of treatment for my chronic sinusitis, but after reading Locke I think I’ll get a second opinion from my proctologist.

                    2. Well, my proctologist stuck his finger up my nose and said I have hemmorhoids, not sinusitis. I don’t know what to do now.

                      Maybe consult with Mike Huebsch?

              2. You refer to the LRB’s “publication” in quotes and “so-called publication.”

                You do realize that it’s not some fluke thing or trick or something. Why do they receive your disdain? The LRB is required by law “to publish every act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto within 10 working days after its date of enactment.”

                Their publication of the law was no different than any other – this is how it is done.

                Why make this point when the ultimate enactment is a separate issue? Because Zach and others are stating that the LRB was barred from publishing the law. They are wrong. When someone says something that isn’t true, it shouldn’t stand unchallenged.

            2. The law can’t be implemented by “no one anywhere;” it can only be implemented here in Wisconsin, which would certainly seem to give a sitting Circuit Court judge jurisdiction.

              1. What’s so hard to get about this? The lawsuit brought before her did not have the LRB named. Or shouldn’t that matter?

                1. And she didn’t specifically name the Secretary of State, the LRB, or anyone else when she restrained and enjoined further implementation of the law; she simply said no further action could be taken to implement it.

                  I know you’re fixated on the fact that the LRB wasn’t specifically named in DA Ozanne’s injunction petition, but the fact is that the judge restrained and enjoined further implementation of the law, period, regardless of who would be doing the further implementation.

                  What’s more, the LRB “publishing” the law is the equivalent of Kinko’s printing something at the request of a customer; it has no legal standing.

                  1. No matter who is specifically named, it would matter what statute she was basing her opinion on (the statute pertaining to the sec of state or the one pertaining to the LRB, or both).

                    Don’t suppose you care to mention the judge’s conflict of interest that probably should have prohibited her from ruling on the case at all.

                    1. Was there a conflict of interest? I thought that was just some right-wing bloggers making a mountain out of an anthill.

                    2. Kind of like how you left-wing bloggers made a mountain out of the budget repair bill?


    But Marquette constitutional law professor Edward Fallone insists says that bureau does not have the power to turn a bill into a law.

    “The Legislative Reference Bureau is a research library service,” Fallone said. They do not have the authority under the constitution to publish a law.”

    Professor Fallone says under the constitution, you cannot take powers away from the Secretary of State, the person whose job it is to publish a law.

    “And suggesting that now this gives legal effect to the law, because they have in effect printed a copy of it, which is their job, to print copies of the law… it strikes me as a desperate move.”

    The professors says he believes this may be a move to discourage protesters by making people think the process is over, when it isn’t.

    “For political purposes it might be a smart move. For legal purposes, I can’t understand it at all,” he said.

      1. I’ve never made any comment whatsoever about whether LRB’s action has the force of law or not. Though I realize it’s fun to make things up & create straw men.

        “For political purposes it might be a smart move. For legal purposes, I can’t understand it at all,” he said.

        That description fits Judge Sumi’s quite well also. Though it probably applies to 90% of what the state Republicans and Democrats have been doing for awhile now. Well that’s not quite right – 90% aren’t smart politician moves, just political moves with total disregard for the public or taxpayers.

        1. You’re clearly arguing that her kind sorta ruling has no authority over the LRB “publication” of the law, thereby implying that something official has occurred. If you see a straw man here maybe you’re hallucinating?

          1. I never made that argument at all. So either your reading comprehension needs work or you just like to make up what other people are saying.

            The lack of authority over the LRB in this case – because they were not party to the suit or before her in court – implies absolutely nothing about the whether the LRB’s publication officially implements the law or not.

  3. I agree that it shouldn’t assert that the law has been enacted, but its like the DOA dictating to the capitol police whether or not the capitol should or shouldn’t be open. The bottomline is that DOA has direct control over the lives of thousands of state employees and if they assert the law on Monday, they assert they law on Monday. They may or may not fix it on Tuesday when they go to court, but as of now the law is whatever DOA says it is… unless the courts intervene, which the declined to do.

  4. Of all the talk of the crazies and hacks that Walker appointed to fill cabinet positions, who knew Mike Huebsch was going to be the biggest hack of all?

  5. It’s bad enough that the repair bill strips public sector bargaining rights and takes a huge bite out of worker salaries for the health care and pension funds they already pay for 100%. Now I fear that these policies will be enacted despite the fact THEY AREN’T EVEN LAW. When DOA tells state agencies to start docking those paychecks, will they resist his illegal directive? I doubt it. Will state workers cancel daycare or fall behind on mortgage payments while this is all getting sorted out? How much harm will be suffered by workers affected by a bill that is not a valid law???? We’ve already heard of one budget repair bill suicide.

    1. Sheila, just so you know, what was before the courts had nothing to do with the validity of the law itself. What is the suicide you are referring to?

    2. Sheila, for over a month we heard the unions and their members say that this isn’t about the great contributions for pension and health, and that those were concessions they were willing to make, if the other parts of the bill were removed. So can I assume if that had happened you would not be complaining about daycare and mortgage payments now? Or was that really just a disingenous ploy to get the public on their side to make the unions look “reasonable”?

      1. My primary concern is about the gutting of collective bargaining rights, but I won’t deny that it’s going to suck to see $350 per month in take home pay vanish. Good thing I’m not trying to support a family or anything…

        1. Do you ever care about people supporting a family when Democrats want to raise taxes (as was the suggested remedy by many of the protestors)?

          Your admission here is proof that the unions and their members were not fine and dandy with making finanicial concessions as they lead everyone to believe.

Comments are closed.