Unions Launch New Legal Fight Against Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill

John Murray/johnmurrayphotography.com

A group of labor unions including the AFL-CIO filed a second lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday challenging Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union budget bill that curbed collective bargaining rights for most public-sector unions.

The unions behind this latest suit, which represent 2,700 employees in state capitol Madison and surrounding Dane County, say Walker’s law violates the US Constitution because it exempts certain public employees—among them cops and firefighters—from the bargaining ban. “There is not a constitutionally reasonable basis to justify such unequal treatment under the law,” the suit reads, “and [the provisions in Walker’s bill] are in derogation of the rights secured at the XIVth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The lawsuit mirrors one filed by Wisconsin’s main teachers union in June that also challenges Walker’s bill on same constitutional grounds.

It also comes after a state-level effort to overturn Walker’s bill fell short. In March, the Dane County district attorney sought to throw out Walker’s bill, alleging that Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature violated the state’s open meeting law by failing to give proper disclosure of a meeting where Senate Republicans voted to approve the bill. A county judge agreed with the DA, and in May struck down the bill. However, a bitterly divided Wisconsin Supreme Court last month reversed the lower judge’s ruling and upheld Walker’s bill. In mid-June, the legislation went into full effect.

Read the AFL-CIO’s new suit here:

July 6 Suit Against Walker Bill

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.