UPDATE: Wis. AG to high court: Union restrictions legal

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UPDATED Monday, November 11, 2013 --- 4:01 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is telling the state Supreme Court that portions of Gov. Scott Walker's union restrictions are constitutional.

The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. A Madison judge ruled last year the provisions are unconstitutional as they apply to school and municipal employees.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on whether the ruling was proper. Van Hollen himself appeared before the court. He contended union members remain free to associate with one another and can ask their employers for benefits beyond what the restrictions allow.

Union attorney Lester Pines countered the restrictions are designed burden union members' right to associate until they quit the organizations. He says the state hasn't shown a compelling reason to impose such burdens.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, November 11, 2013 --- 1:13 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is telling the state Supreme Court that portions of Gov. Scott Walker's union restrictions are constitutional.

The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. A Madison judge ruled last year the provisions are unconstitutional as they apply to school and municipal employees.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on whether the ruling was proper. Van Hollen himself appeared before the court. He contended constitutionality isn't an issue because collective bargaining is a benefit granted through state statutes.

He contended union members remain free to associate with one another and can ask their employers for benefits beyond what the restrictions allow.

Union attorneys were expected to make their arguments later Monday afternoon.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, November 11, 2013 --- 5:42 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether portions of Gov. Scott Walker's union restrictions are legal.

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled last year parts of the restrictions are unconstitutional as they apply to a Madison teachers union and a Milwaukee public workers union.

State labor relations officials continued to prepare for re-certification elections for hundreds of other local public unions as per the restrictions, arguing Colas' ruling didn't apply statewide. Colas found them in contempt of court last month, saying his ruling meant no one could enforce those parts of the restrictions against anyone.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on whether Colas' original ruling and his contempt finding were proper during a Monday morning session.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Friday June 14, 2013

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by two unions challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Scott Walker's law effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers.

The Supreme Court announced on Friday it was taking the case.

The 4th District Court of Appeals in April asked the Supreme Court to take it, noting ongoing uncertainty about the law's status.

The case was brought by unions representing Madison school teachers and city of Milwaukee workers. A Dane County circuit judge last year overturned the law as it pertained to local government unions, but it was unclear if the ruling applied outside Madison and Milwaukee.

The Supreme Court could have sent the case back to the appeals court to rule first, but instead decided to hear it directly.

Copyright Associated Press 2013


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