Federal Judge Rules Act 10 Is Constitutional
A federal judge has ruled Governor Scott Walker’s controversial collective bargaining reform law is constitutional. The legislation strips nearly all collective bargaining powers from most state and local public employee unions. Federal Judge William Conley of Madison struck down arguments made in one of several lawsuits filed against Act 10 — this one from Madison and Dane County employees. He says,”plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for relief under either the First or Fourteenth Amendments. ”The unions said, in part, the law violates their constitutional rights to associate, assemble and express their views. However, Conley says, under Act 10, “general employees remain free to associate and represented employees and their unions remain free to speak; municipal employers are simply not allowed to listen.” The unions also argue “equal protection violation based on the differential treatment of general employees as compared to public safety employees.” Conley says the equal protection clause does not apply. The judge says it’s legal for the government to treat union workers differently from those not in unions with respect to bargaining over wages and conditions of employment.