Wisconsin AG Asks for Stay in Union Law Ruling
Posted at: 09/17/2012 10:16 AM
| Updated at: 09/18/2012 12:13 PM
By: SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin's attorney general has asked a judge to put on hold his decision to repeal major parts of Gov. Scott Walker's law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.
J.B. Van Hollen filed the request Tuesday.
Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled Friday that Walker's law is unconstitutional as applied to school and local government employees.
His ruling did not affect state workers or those at the University of Wisconsin System.
Attorney Lester Pines represents the Madison teachers' union that brought the lawsuit. Pines says he will vigorously oppose Van Hollen's request to put the ruling on hold.
Van Hollen won't criticize judge
Van Hollen is not attacking the motives of the judge. Gov. Scott Walker on Friday lashed out at Colas, calling him a "liberal, activist judge."
Colas was a former public defender and later prosecutor at the state Department of Justice. He was appointed to the bench by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.
Van Hollen said in an interview Monday that he didn't want to comment on Walker's statements or "go into Colas's head."
Van Hollen says that "legal minds can disagree" on the merits of the ruling, but he found it to be "woefully legally deficient."
Legal expert says union ruling unlikely to stand
A labor law expert says he thinks the judge's ruling will be overturned on appeal.
Marquette University labor law professor Paul Secunda said Monday he thinks Friday's ruling in Dane County court is a "temporary blip on the screen of this dispute." Secunda says while the appeal is pending, he expects the ruling will be put on hold.
Secunda says not doing that creates chaos for local governments as unions could argue they need to begin negotiating new contracts.
Confusion in wake of ruling
Wisconsin school and government worker unions are considering whether to seek new contract talks after a court threw out parts of a controversial law that restricts public employee collective bargaining.
At least one major union says it will demand new contract negotiations, while others are considering their options.
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