Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas, a former state assistant attorney general, ruled Friday that Act 10 - - the Walker initiative to nearly completely kill collective bargaining by public employee unions in Wisconsin - - was null and void for local government and school employees because it violated both the state and federal constitutions.
Update: The ruling applies to municipal and school employees, not state workers, according to Lester Pines, the plaintiffs' attorney:
"The decision essentially creates the (2011) status quo for municipal employees and school district employees because it declared that the essential provisions of Act 10 to be unconstitutional," said Lester Pines, an attorney for the Madison teachers and city of Milwaukee employees who are plaintiffs.An earlier 4-3 ruling by the State Supreme Court, and written by Justice David Prosser for the court's conservative bloc, had only validated the Legislature's process in approving it.
[Labor plaintiff Attorney Lester Pines said Walker and others should not be demeaning judges with name calling...The Dane County ruling was made on behalf of the Madison Teachers Union, (MTU), and a Milwaukee public employees union.
"When a case is before judges, it's really not a good idea to insult the judge. First of all, it's just bad manners. But secondly, from a tactical point of view, when someone still has issues before him or her, why would you insult that person?..."
Representatives of Walker couldn't immediately be reached for comment Saturday.
Portions of the law restricting the activities of union organizations were struck down by a Federal judge earlier this year.
Atty. Pines was the attorney who won an injunction on behalf of the League of Wisconsin Women Voters in its challenge of the Voter ID law.
That case, and a parallel challenge, are before the state Court of Appeals; Republicans are pushing for a quick ruling by the Supreme Court in hopes of reinstating the law before the November 6th presidential election.