After long last, unions got a big win today in Wisconsin as Judge C. William Foust tossed out Governor Scott Walker’s “right to work” for less law, saying it violated the Wisconsin constitution.
This definitely puts a dent in the anti-union cred of Walker, who threw his hat in the ring as a Republican 2016 presidential candidate, but wasn’t ready for prime time.
The Judge based his ruling on Articles 1 and 13 of the state constitution that says the law takes Plaintiff’s property without just compensation because the law prohibits unions from collecting fees from non-members to cover the costs of collective bargaining, from which all workers benefit even if they are not a union member.
“Today, the courts put a needed check on Scott Walker’s attacks on working families by ruling that Wisconsin’s Right to Work law is in violation of our state constitution,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of Wisconsin AFL-CIO, in a statement. “Right to Work goes against the Wisconsin principles of fairness and democracy and hurts all of Wisconsin by eroding the strength of our middle class. Right to Work has always been unjust, now it’s proven unconstitutional.”
The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported that the fight isn’t over yet, as Republican “Attorney General Brad Schimel shot back Friday that he would appeal and win, noting that every other state’s right-to-work law has survived court challenges.”
The difference between this anti-union laws and others could reside in the Wisconsin state Constitution, which might serve as a firewall.
This law is Scott Walker’s calling card, the push to make Wisconsin the 25th state with a “right-to-work” for less law was a big part of his rising political star. That star dimmed as he took the national stage in hopes of winning the 2016 Republican presidential nomination when it became clear that the Governor was not able to participate coherently in an interview in which he was asked to discuss issues and policies outside of his Koch brother agenda in Wisconsin.
Killing the unions has been a goal of big business ever since workers managed to unionize, and Scott Walker was determined to hand his state over to the Koch brothers. But it looks like Wisconsin isn’t going down without a fight.
Political loss and division aside, Scott Walker reportedly “told donors he’s considering whether to seek a third term as governor but hasn’t decided if he’ll do so.”
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.