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Wisconsin judge tosses union-busting law

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Mark McGwire, May 26, 2011.

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  1. Mark McGwire

    Mark McGwire Member


    YGBFKM Guest

    Workers should celebrate by taking Friday off.
  3. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    In the words of the great philosopher Nelson Muntz: Hah-hah!
  4. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    And Monday!
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    But isn't this ruling headed for the state's Supreme Court, which was all the fuss about the election they just had for the judge (and Walker's side won that election)?
  6. Mark McGwire

    Mark McGwire Member

    It might be. Think the Wisconsin Supreme Court is going to consider arguments to hear it June 6.


    I am not a lawyer, but this is a finding of fact. And the finding is that the GOP violated both the letter (less than 24 hours notice) and spirit (they rushed the hearing because the Democrats weren't there) of the state's open meetings law. To reverse the decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court would have to find that this judge was flat wrong on the facts. Which would be hard to do, cause she isn't.
  7. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    Yes she is. The law was passed during an emergency session when the open meetings rules do not apply. Joel Griffith clearly explains this here (On Redstate):

    On March 7, the Wisconsin Senate passed a bill reforming the public sector union bargaining process. For weeks, the Senate remained at an impasse on the issue as absent Senate Democrats denied the quorum required to move forward. By redrafting the bill to exclude certain fiscal items, a 2/3 quorum was no longer required to vote on the legislation. The Senate promptly approved the bill 18-1.

    After passage of the bill by the Senate, the Joint Committee of Conference then received the bill. This committee’s responsibility is to make changes to similar pieces of legislation passed in both the Senate and House. Once these changes are approved by the Joint Committee of Conference, the legislation is then submitted for approval by the legislative chambers. For a bill to be submitted to the governor for his signature — and thereby enacted into law– the language in the bill passed by the Senate and the House must be identical. In this case, the Joint Committee of Conference approved the language of the bill passed by the Senate verbatim, submitting this to the House for Approval.

    Typically, consideration of legislation by this committee for the mark-up process takes weeks. However, the committee completed its work on this public sector union bill just hours after posting notice of its upcoming meeting.

    Much criticism has been levied at the Wisconsin Republicans for the actions of the Joint Committee Meeting. In a dramatic outburst, Representative Peter Barca proclaimed, “This is a violation of the Open Meetings Law!” What does the law say? The portion which the Democrats claim is being violated is Wisconsin Open Meetings Law, in particular §19.84 of the statute.

    §19.84 (1) Public notice of all meetings of a governmental body shall be given in the following manner:….(2) Every public notice of a meeting of a governmental body shall set forth the time, date, place and subject matter of the meeting, including that intended for consideration at any contemplated closed session, in such form as is reasonably likely to apprise members of the public and the news media thereof. The public notice of a meeting of a governmental body may provide for a period of public comment, during which the body may receive information from members of the public.(3) Public notice of every meeting of a governmental body shall be given at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of such meeting unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting.”

    At first glance, it appears that due to the lack of a 24 hours notice to the public, the Joint Committee of Conference violated the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law. However, there is much more to this statute. We must also take into consideration §19.87 regarding the notice required by legislative meetings.

    §19.87(2) No provision of this subchapter which conflicts with a rule of the senate or assembly or joint rule of the legislature shall apply to a meeting conducted in compliance with such rule.

    Is there is a rule senate or assembly or joint rule which qualifies for this exception to the general Wisconsin Open Meetings Law notice requirements? To determine this, we simply need to take a look at the Wisconsin rules for the legislature.

    Joint Rule 27. Committee hearings open to public. Unless otherwise provided by law, every committee hearing, executive session, or other meeting shall be open to the public. If time permits, advance notice of every regularly scheduled committee hearing, executive session, or other meeting shall be published as provided in joint rule 75.

    Since this was not a regularly scheduled meeting, so Joint Rule 75 does not apply. Joint Rule 27 requires only that such a non-regularly scheduled meeting be open to the public, without proscribing a time requirement.

    In addition, the Senate Rules clearly agree with this analysis.

    Senate Rule 93

    (2) A notice of a committee meeting is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and a bulletin of committee hearings may not be published.

    Senate Rule 93 (3)

    (3) The daily calendar is in effect immediately upon posting on the legislative bulletin boards. The calendar need not be distributed.

    The Senate clerk indeed posted notice of this committee on the legislative bulletin board. The Senate rules require no notice of a committee meeting besides such a posting on the legislative bulletin board. This requirement is far less than the 24 hour notice guidelines specified §19.84 (1) of the Open Meetings Law. However, we saw in §19.87(2) of the same statute, that a senate, assembly, or joint rule does in fact trump this much more stringent notice requirement!

    Accusations that the Wisconsin Republicans violated this law are incongruent with reality, distort the law, and qualify as demagoguery.
  8. Mark McGwire

    Mark McGwire Member

    That's some serious bullshit.

    The Wisconsin legislature rule defers, first and foremost, to the law.

    "Unless otherwise provided by law..."

    The law says 24 hours notice, unless impossible or impractical.

    They did not give 24 hours notice.

    Unless they can show why that was impossible or impractical, they lose.
  9. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    This is the only the start of the backlash, in court and at the polls, over union-busting legislation. Heck, the Senate majority leader in Ohio couldn't even wait until he was up for office before running to the hills. While Jimmy Stewart (yes, that's his name) said his vote on union-busting legislation in Ohio wasn't the reason for resigning, he's gotten a lot of heat in his district for his vote.


    Various opinion polls have support for the likes of Scott Walker, John Kasich and Rick Scott crashing, mere months into their first term. There are two possible interpretations:

    1. Just because people say they want you to cut the budget doesn't mean they want you to actually do it, especially if you're goring their ox. Hence, why the Ryan budget is going nowhere.


    2. People accept the idea that something has to be done, but they also don't like seeing radical change, happening quickly. Hence, why the electorate turned quickly between 2008 and 2010, what with many voters seeing a need to restrain what they saw as the excesses of Obama and the Democrats, only to find them replaced with what they see as the excesses of the Republicans.

    Electoral success in 2012 may lie in trying to figure out whether voters are No. 1 or No. 2, or how many voters, and which ones, are in each.
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    If it wasn't a regularly scheduled meeting then it doesn't appear that the law in question applies to it.

    Either way, this will be fun to watch.
  11. Mark McGwire

    Mark McGwire Member

    Judge actually dealt with that. It's a pretty fun read, as legal decisions go.

  12. suburbia

    suburbia Active Member

    Neither side can resist overplaying its hand, rewarding the wealthy few who bankrolled their rise to power or otherwise forgetting why it was put into power in the first place. Human nature, I suppose.
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