Federal appellate court upholds Wisconsin collective bargaining reforms

Scott Walker

Since its passage in 2011, Big Labor has been working through the court system to undo the collective bargaining reform law signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) in early 2011. Despite the Wisconsin Supreme Court upholding the law in June 2011, Big Labor won a reprieve after a federal district court struck down part of the law.

But the these much needed reforms were given new life today thanks to a decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the law in its entirety:

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld Act 10, Wisconsin’s controversial reform law that guts collective bargaining for most public employees in the state.

The decision strikes a blow to public-sector unions that gained a temporary victory in September, when a Dane County Circuit Court Judge ruled parts of the law unconstitutional.

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals struck down key provisions of a separate federal court’s ruling, writing, “The district court invalidated Act 10′s recertification and payroll deduction provisions, but upheld the statute’s limitation on collective bargaining. We now uphold Act 10 in its entirety.”

The decision doesn’t affect the ruling issued in September by a Dane County Circuit Court judge. That opinion, written by Judge Juan Colas, invalidated the whole law. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, which, as noted above, has already upheld the law once before, will take up that ruling at a later point.

This is a big win for Gov. Walker, who won a recall election last year that was a direct result of standing signing these reform measures into law. Because of his willingness to stand up to unions, Gov. Walker has won favor with conservatives and could be a sleeper Republican presidential candidate in 2016.

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