That controversial anti-union law passed by Wisconsin’s legislature in March over the objections of demonstrators and the fleeing Democratic caucus has been struck down by Dane County judge Maryann Sumi, who previously barred the law from taking effect while she deliberated. Sumi found that while the legislation itself is legal, the way it was passed violated the state’s Open Meetings law, because Republicans gave only two hours of notice before considering the bill instead of the required 24. “Our form of government depends on citizens’ trust and confidence in the process by which our elected officials make laws, at all levels of government,” Sumi wrote in her decision.
Nevertheless, like a horror-movie villain, the law may very likely return from the dead to terrorize union members once again. The Wisconsin Supreme Court will decide next month whether to hear an appeal of Sumi’s ruling, and if it does, Democrats expect the law to be upheld because of the rightward-leaning composition of the court. Even if the Supreme Court doesn’t take up the case, or does so and then agrees with Sumi, the Wisconsin legislature can simply pass the bill again, this time according to proper procedure. However, considering that up to six Republican state senators are facing recall elections solely because of their support for the bill, it wouldn’t be shocking if a few of them had a change of heart.