Walker's bargaining rights law upheld by state Supreme Court
July 31st, 2014
11:31 AM ET
5 months ago

Walker's bargaining rights law upheld by state Supreme Court

(CNN) – Republican Gov. Scott Walker scored a big victory Thursday after the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the collective bargaining rights law that angered public employees but rocketed Walker into national GOP fame.

The court also ruled in favor of the state's voter ID law, which the governor signed in 2011 and requires voters to present a photo ID.

Collective bargaining rights

Known as Act 10, the public union law limits bargaining rights to issues only involving base wages, bans some government employers from automatically taking union fees from employee paychecks, and requires yearly recertification standards, among other rules.

Opponents argued the law violates their constitutional rights, but the state Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that the critics' argument is "without merit" and "unconvincing."

"Collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation," Justice Michael Gableman wrote in the lead opinion issued Thursday.

The decision comes as Walker, a potential presidential contender, fights to keep his seat in this year's gubernatorial election against Democratic challenger Mary Burke. Two polls released in the past two weeks indicate that the two candidates are statistically tied.

"Act 10 has saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than $3 billion," Walker said in a written statement. "Today's ruling is a victory for those hard-working taxpayers."

As the law made its way through the legislature and to the governor's desk in 2011, Walker faced weeks of protests and swarms of demonstrators, which brought the national spotlight to Madison.

His opposition mounted a recall campaign, which Walker successfully overcame in 2012. He was the first governor to survive a recall election.

Voter ID law

In 2011, Wisconsin joined a growing number of states that passed laws requiring voters to present photo identification. In Wisconsin's case, the law says that voters can choose from one of nine forms of government-approved photo IDs.

A federal judge issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the law in April, saying it violated the Voting Rights Act. A state judge had earlier tossed out the law on similar legal grounds.

Critics say the law, known as Act 23, disproportionately affects minorities, many of whom don't have government forms of identification.

But proponents of the law say it's meant to prevent voter fraud and impersonation.

The state Supreme Court sided with the proponents, saying opponents "failed to prove Act 23 unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt" and that presenting a photo ID is not an "undue burden on the right to vote."

In his written statement, Walker said the law "is a common sense reform that protects the integrity of our elections."

The Advancement Project, a civil rights group fighting against voter ID laws, called the decision "a substantial blow against maintaining equity in our political process."

"As the leading democracy in the world, our state governments should work to keep our voting system free, fair, and accessible to all Americans," said Penda D. Hair, the group's co-director.

CNN Supreme Court Producer William Mears contributed to this report.


Filed under: Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. smith

    More states need to follow Wisconsin`s lead and enact voter ID laws.

    July 31, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. guest

    does act 10 remove the ability for an instructor to become tenured? Tenure is important, especially now in this turbulent political environment. Removing tenure is the first step to replacing all teachers that dont teach the personal dogma of the powers that be. Removing tenure and being able to directly threaten and lean on teachers is the first step towards fascism, towards revisionist history, the first step towards becoming more like North Korea, where the people are made ignorant and cant deny claims that their leader invented golf or shoelaces or whatever.

    We must protect our teachers from being eliminated for teaching history and science. Let religious education come from church and sunday school and bible camp, they are important lessons in morality and right vs wrong, but not acceptable as school lessons, due to their flexibility to being twisted as indoctrination technique to resemble divine intervention that such and such is the supreme leader.

    July 31, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Let's talk about how Gov. Walker's Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has given TAXPAYER money to companies that outsourse jobs. A Chicago firm called RR Donnelley was given a $140,000 tax credit, saying it planned to make a $316,000 capital investment, but they actually invested zero, zilch, nada. The company said it would create 75 jobs, but they only created seven.

    “If a company says they’re going to create X number of jobs, they’re going to retain jobs, and they’re going to make a capital investment, and that’s the premise on which the award is made, they get that, but they get that only if they perform,” – Gov. Scott Walker

    July 31, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "Known as Act 10, the public union law limits bargaining rights to issues only involving base wages, bans some government employers from automatically taking union fees from employee paychecks, and requires yearly recertification standards, among other rules."
    --------------------------
    Wisconsin has had one of the worst jobs performance records in Midwest since Walker took over. Walker has yet to produce even one quarter of the jobs that he promised. Besides, who wants to work in a state where your employer can treat you like a serf, anyway.

    Walker also has his own set of scandals. It's a prerequisite for being a Republican in charge of things, you know. You gotta get yourself embroiled in some abuse of power scandal. The latest abuse comes from a special job creation commission that Walker had created by scrapping the public one and privatizing it. It seems that there is little to no accountability with the taxpayer dollars that they give away in the form of tax credits. What little there is known about their spending is that millions upon millions have been given to companies that outsourced jobs out of the state and out of the country.

    Let's face it. Walker does not serve the people. He serves the plutocrats and big money. Remember that phony phone call that Walker had taken on live radio that he was fooled into thinking it was one of the Koch brothers? Wasn't he the perfect lapdog?

    July 31, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    How convenient that the conservatives packed that court.

    "In 2011, Wisconsin joined a growing number of states that passed laws requiring voters to present photo identification."

    In 2011, Wisconsin joined a growing number of states controlled by the GOP/Teatrolls that passed laws requiring voters to present photo identification.

    FIFY...tell it like it is or get bent.

    July 31, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. ChrisM

    it Does not matter. Walker, the Koch lapdog, is done and he knows. That law will be repealed after the next election.
    The majority of the citizens of Wisconsin hate Walker

    July 31, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    smith

    More states need to follow Wisconsin`s lead and enact voter ID laws.
    ----------------------------------
    Why? Most of the suspected election fraud in Wisconsin in recent years has occurred in the same southeast county. The Republican election commissioner has discovered a knack for finding "lost" ballots stashed away in trunks of cars, in filing cabinets, all sorts of places. Her discoveries have turned a number of elections that were not going well for Republicans.

    July 31, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Norma Vessels

    ChrisM .. I hope you're right, that the Governor is on his way out. I don't live in Wisconsin, but I can see what a mess Governor Walker has made of your state, in a very short time.

    July 31, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Klutch Cargo

    Dang!,
    It looks like it's back to the Salt mines for those Public Unions in Wisconsin! Even New Your State has seen the light. They have set up Tax Free Zones to beckon Business back to the Empire State. And gosh almighty, Michigan became a Right to Work State !!! Those big government policies have came home to roost!!

    July 31, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Longtimer

    Just as the GOP cannot survive without the women vote, it cannot survive without the blue collar vote.

    July 31, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Dean

    Great news. Hey libs...suck it.

    July 31, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Scott

    Listen to the liberals cry, common sense should tell you that you need ID to vote. You need ID to drive, write checks, proof of age, to get passports, hundred's of places here in the USA require ID. Why should voting be any different? Maybe because the Democrats are worried that the illegals in this country can not vote. After all that is why the Democrats support illegal immigration for the votes.

    July 31, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Scott

    ChrisM
    it Does not matter. Walker, the Koch lapdog, is done and he knows. That law will be repealed after the next election.
    The majority of the citizens of Wisconsin hate Walker
    __________________________________
    And you know this how? Are you psychic perhaps,or just typical liberal ranting.

    July 31, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. smith

    @Rudy-Do you ask why we have referees in our sporting events? Its the same concept, to keep events or functions honest.

    July 31, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Tom l

    Ahhhhh, the soft bigotry of low expectations. It's just so difficult to get an ID. I just can't understand how anyone would have a problem asking for proof peoe are who they say they are. It's not a "poll tax" as the gang will try to make you believe because they have made them free to this that can't afford it. Just sad how little some would think of a person to not be able to obtain an ID.

    July 31, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein

    How many judges on that court were appointed by Walker? It seems that Walker is not interested in being fair and honest to the workers who carry out his orders or the mandates of the legislature. People often fail to understand what people do who carry out the rules set forth by the legislature and the governor. I believe that Walker is failing to see the history and the larger picture. The history is how we came to work the 40 hour week was because of unions. The larger picture that I see is that people who work for the state are going to have less security in terms of their finances and job security because he likely will move on to changing the civil service rules which make it easier to fire people on a whim.

    July 31, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-Do you ask why we have referees in our sporting events? Its the same concept, to keep events or functions honest.
    -------------------------
    I have never seen referees ask for ID. I have never seen referees change the rules of how the games are played.

    Why is it some state issued ID's [i.e. state university ID] are not sufficient?
    What does reducing the early voting time period have to do with voter fraud at the polls?
    What does reducing the hours of operations at locations that issue free IDs have to do with fraud at the polls?
    Why would a gun permit, a hunting license, or a fishing license be accepted, but not my voter registration card?

    July 31, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. timelord7202

    So he's also equally against lobbyists from corporations coming together to get entitlements and perks?

    July 31, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Ahhhhh, the soft bigotry of low expectations"

    Ahhhhh, the ridiculous and predictable mumblings of a chief racism enabler who will make all the irrational excuses he deems necessary to justify deliberate legislative efforts to enact voting and election rules designed to have a disparate impact upon minority communities in order to restrict and suppress their voter turnout...all based on wild, debunked delusions of widespread, pervasive voter fraud as a superficial veil for the obvious and unarguable intent of these laws, purges, process changes, time period reductions, etc.

    "Just sad how little some would think of a person to not be able to obtain an ID."

    Just sad how you buy into every ridiculous, outlandish excuse the GOP/Teatrolls provide for their blatantly anti-minority freakout over ongoing and accelerating demographic shifts that they know very well threaten their future viability and power as a national party. Enabler.

    July 31, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. excuse my rant

    Tom l
    Ahhhhh, the soft bigotry of low expectations. It's just so difficult to get an ID. I just can't understand how anyone would have a problem asking for proof peoe are who they say they are. It's not a "poll tax" as the gang will try to make you believe because they have made them free to this that can't afford it. Just sad how little some would think of a person to not be able to obtain an ID.
    _______________________
    Then ask yourself this Tom, does the ID law make it easier for a particular group of LEGAL voters to vote while making it more difficult for a particular group of LEGAL voters to vote? If so, how can you be in favor of that? And why would any politician be in favor of that? The answer is that those that have it more difficult to vote are more likely to vote against said politician and his/her party.

    If there were an ID used for voting, and only voting, and it was the responsibility of the State to make sure all of its legally registered voters had an ID for every single election, all Democrats would be in favor of that. Those legally able to vote can vote. Those not legally able to vote cannot vote. There's no bias in who has a proper ID. There's no poll tax to a voter as it would be the States' responsibility to be sure its legally registered citizens can vote.

    July 31, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Tom l

    Ahhhhh, the soft bigotry of low expectations. It's just so difficult to get an ID. I just can't understand how anyone would have a problem asking for proof peoe are who they say they are. It's not a "poll tax" as the gang will try to make you believe because they have made them free to this that can't afford it. Just sad how little some would think of a person to not be able to obtain an ID.
    ------------------------
    Right wing ignorance knows no bounds. You make the horrifically false assumption that if it is easy for you to do, then it is easy for everyone else to do, too. NOT.

    You should try asking that Neel Kashkari guy from the previous article how hard it is to obtain an ID. Did you know that if you are homeless, which means that you have no mailing address, that you cannot obtain an ID in some states. They require that you have a verfiable mailing address.

    July 31, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Ol' Yeller

    @Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-Do you ask why we have referees in our sporting events? Its the same concept, to keep events or functions honest.
    ---------
    I have never seen referees ask for ID. I have never seen referees change the rules of how the games are played.

    Why is it some state issued ID's [i.e. state university ID] are not sufficient?
    What does reducing the early voting time period have to do with voter fraud at the polls?
    What does reducing the hours of operations at locations that issue free IDs have to do with fraud at the polls?
    Why would a gun permit, a hunting license, or a fishing license be accepted, but not my voter registration card?

    I'll take a stab it, Rudy?

    July 31, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Walker IS a SCUM BAG and looks the part, he will be out of office with his up coming DEFEAT in November !!!!

    July 31, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Why is it some state issued ID's [i.e. state university ID] are not sufficient?"

    Young people vote for Dems and the GOP/Teatrolls are rapidly losing the next generations of voters.

    "What does reducing the early voting time period have to do with voter fraud at the polls?"

    Minorities vote early by an extremely large proportion. Besides, coupled with reducing polling locations, polling hours, taking away Sunday voting and prohibiting polling locations from staying open late, this is part of the plan to create even longer lines and wait times on election day to discourage those who tend to vote for Dems from bothering to vote.

    "What does reducing the hours of operations at locations that issue free IDs have to do with fraud at the polls?"

    In GOP/Teatroll Bubbleland, long lines at the polls have nothing to do with there being insufficient polling places and voting machines in heavily populated, heavily minority urban areas. Rather, it proves to the tinfoil hatted conservatives that people are getting back in line after the first time they voted. Ergo, less polling hours means less time for all those filthy minorities to vote multiple times.

    "Why would a gun permit, a hunting license, or a fishing license be accepted, but not my voter registration card?"

    Those permits tend to belong to the suburban and rural whites, who are to be understood as implicitly righteous, virtuous, honest and entitled to vote without being asked for the "papers please."

    Any more questions?

    July 31, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Meet the first American Presidential candidate with a GED diploma .Who's campaign staff are all under investigation for fraud and corruption .

    I'm all for a voter ID , I'm all for providing all Americans with an ID , It makes sense in todays world .

    July 31, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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