Wisconsin Conservative Justices Uphold Walker Budget Bill

A narrow conservative majority on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court upheld GOP Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting budget bill and cleared the way for its implementation. The court’s decision to vacate an injunction against the bill by lower court judge Maryann Sumi is highly suspect.

The court ignored relevant facts and decided the case the same day it agreed to hear it. “This court gives this important case short shrift. Today the majority announces for the first time that it is accepting this case. And today the majority decides the case,” noted Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson in a stinging dissent.

Abrahamson said the conservative majority on the court “make their own findings of fact, mischaracterize the parties’ arguments, misinterpret statutes, minimize (if not eliminate) Wisconsin constitutional guarantees, and misstate case law, appearing to silently overrule case law dating back to at least 1891.”

A key vote in the conservative majority decision came from David Prosser, who initially lost a re-election bid to progressive candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg in April. More than 24 hours after the polls closed with Kloppenburg in the lead, Republican Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus “found” thousands of votes and the race went to Prosser.

Walker’s union-busting budget bill still faces challenges in federal court as several groups, including a coalition of unions, have filed suits against the bill.