Supreme Court Voids Contempt Order On Commissioners

[Madison, Wisc…] Thursday night, the Wisconsin Supreme Court voided a contempt order that was placed on State commissioners by Dane County Judge Juan Colas for continuing to enforce portions of Act 10 after he had ruled it unconstitutional. The justices ruled 5-2.

“We do not rule on the stay of the September 2012 declaratory judgment. However, for the reasons discussed in this opinion, we conclude that the contempt order issued subsequent to the appeal from the circuit court declaratory judgment constituted an impermissible interference with the appellate jurisdiction of this court. We therefore exercise our superintending authority to vacate the contempt order, which renders the State Defendants’ motion to stay the contempt order moot,” the decision read.

Colas had ruled on October 21st that the commissioners were in contempt for administering annual recertification elections for unions not named in the original lawsuit. Colas insisted his ruling applies statewide, not just to the two unions in the lawsuit.

The state was in the process of appealing the original decision from 2012 when Colas adjusted it last month. The Supreme Court heard the case on November 11th.