Controversial doesn't mean unconstitutional

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Bob Kellogg (

The efforts of Wisconsin teachers unions to strike down the state's controversial Act 10 have been thwarted for the time being, as a federal appeals court has upheld the law.

Governor Scott Walker's (R) measure, which is designed to bring union contracts in line with the state's budget concerns, has been sustained as constitutionally sound, and public sector union privileges have been curtailed. The court found the law constitutional and the automatic deduction of union dues acceptable.

Gunn, Steve (EAG)Steve Gunn of the Education Action Group Foundation (EAG) tells OneNewsNow he and other school reformers were holding their breath until the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals announced its decision.

"We were certainly hoping it would pass muster and survive, because it's been a very good law for the state, and in very real ways it saves school districts millions upon millions of dollars," he offers.

The only challenge left is in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and Gunn has reason to believe it will uphold Act 10 as well.

"While there's quite a bit of balance on that court, it leans a little bit to the right," the EAG spokesman reports. "And most everybody that I've talked to and everything that I've read suggests that it'll probably be upheld at the Wisconsin Supreme Court level, too."

Last September, a Dane County circuit court judge declared that provisions of Act 10 were unconstitutional, putting it on hold until the matter is settled in the courts. That case was brought by Madison Teachers Inc. and Public Employees Local 61.

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