State’s Request for Stay in Act 10 Lawsuit Denied

MacIver News Service | March 14, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] The Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday to deny the request for a stay of the opinion of circuit court Judge Juan Colas in the case of Madison Teachers Inc., v. Scott Walker. Colas ordered that parts of Act 10 not be implemented because they were unconstitutional.

The State of Wisconsin, which is a defendant in the case, requested the stay of Colas’ opinion to ensure that there would be no confusion about the law. With the request denied, only parts of Act 10 can be put in place until outcome of the appeals process provided.

The decision to deny the request for a stay was unanimously signed by Judges Brian Blanchard, Paul Higginbotham, and Paul Lundsten.

If the stay was granted, Act 10 could have been enforced in its entirety until the appeals process came to a close.

Opponents to the bill claim that this is a win for public employees. “The appeals Court has determined it will not stop the Judge Colas decision which threw out sections of the law. We owe it to the people of Wisconsin to clear up some of these issues and revisit the issue of collective bargaining for public employees,” said Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) in a statement.

However, Rick Esenberg, President of Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, said in a statement, “Nor did the Court of Appeals create or continue a “window” for other local units of government to ignore the requirements of Act 10…any unit of government that renegotiates or reopens a union contract in a way that violates Act 10 does so at its own risk.”

While parts of the law have been thrown out, a majority of Act 10 is still in effect. Governor Scott Walker signed Act 10 in 2011 as a part of his budget repair bill which gave state and local governments and school districts more flexibility in their budgeting process. With the law enacted some school districts were able to change health plans and make other changes that turned deficits into surpluses.