Yet another shoe has dropped in the battle over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) anti-public employee union law — with state Republican leaders now apparently defying or attempting to circumvent a court order that temporarily blocked implementation of the law.


The judge’s order “restrain[ed] and enjoin[ed] the further implementation” of the law, including the prevention of Secretary of State Doug LaFollette (D) from publishing the act in the Wisconsin State Journal, which acts as the state’s official newspaper for the purpose of giving the public official notice of new laws — the final step for the law to take effect. That decision is now going through an appeals process, which remains up in the air.

But now, state Republicans have had the bill published through a different office — the Legislative Reference Bureau, which handles drafting and research for the legislature — according to the LRB’s statutory requirement to publish legislation within ten days of enactment.Interestingly, the LRB itself says that this publication does not constitute action that would put the law into effect. But the state’s Republican leaders disagree.   Senate Majority Scott Fitzgerald (R) says the LRB publication constitutes official publication and the insists the law will take effect Saturday.

Original DVD cover

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

“I think this is a ministerial act that forwards it to the secretary of state,” said Stephen Miller, director of the Legislative Reference Bureau. “I don’t think this act makes it become effective. My understanding is that the secretary of state has to publish it in the (official state) newspaper for it to become effective.”

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) claimed it didn’t matter that it hasn’t appeared in the paper.

“It’s published,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s law. That’s what I contend.”

Following this action, State House Minority Leader Peter Barca (D) obtained a letter from Scott Grosz, the staff attorney for the Wisconsin Legislative Council — which offers legal advice to the LRB — further outlining the LRB’s position. Key quote:

[…]the statutory obligation that relates to the effective date of Act 10 has not yet been satisfied by the Secretary of State, and at this time the Secretary’s actions remain subject to the temporary restraining order issued in Dane County Circuit Court.

However, Fitzgerald is insisting otherwise, the Wisconsin State Journal reports:

“Every attorney I have consulted said this will now be law,” said Fitzgerald. “It wasn’t a secret. I think they left the door open for this.”

As WisPolitics reports, Fitzgerald said that he had sent the LRB the letter suggesting publication:


“It’s law tomorrow,” [Fitzgerald] said.

So what does this all mean? Well, it now appears that Republicans are ready to move ahead with the new law eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public employee unions, despite a court order that prevented not only ‘publication’ but any “further implementation” of the statute. The move is almost certain to spark yet more litigation and provide more grist for the Democratic efforts to recall Republican state Senators this year and Walker himself next year.


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18 responses to “Cheeseheadstrong

  1. jean-philippe

    Thank you for hiding Walker’s chest. That’s not something I want to experience… 😉

  2. No argument that those two earned the “Horse’s Ass Award.”

  3. I wonder if Fitzgerald could be cited for contempt of court.

    Speaking of courts, this whole matter is going to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, if not Federal Court. This makes the Wisconsin Supreme Court election next month even more critical.

    • their arrogance is stunning. they should walk around and get signatures for their own recall petitions. they can’t help themselves; they enjoy pissing off the people, because they have nothing but contempt for them.

  4. It’s like they are having a competition as to who will get thrown out of office first.

    What would be fun is if they held these two in contempt of court- two jailbirds!

    • i’m thinking that these 2 aren’t eligible for recall until next year, and they think that people will forget about all of this by then. fat chance! how sweet it will be when they’re thrown out of office, and they realize that the koch brothers have kicked them to the curb, because they are no longer of any use.

      • They are already working on the preliminary items to get Scott Walker unelected. It’s pretty much a given, he will be *out of office* as soon as is possible.

        • i hope that they find that he did something illegal (such as accepting a bribe from whom he though was david koch–the offer of a trip to california) and don’t have to wait until next year to recall him.

  5. Just another case of nothing being able to stop Gods Work(tm) when these fools think they are above mans law. The only surprise at this point is that they haven’t rushed through a Michigan style Enabeling Act to guarantee a legal right to establish dictatorship. It’s coming folks.

    • i’m kinda surprised they haven’t done the whole dictatorship thing, too, yet. it’s like a midwest pissing contest to see who can be the most anti-democratic of all.

  6. Thanks for the Wisconsin updates as it seems to be the soothsayer for what’s ahead for me in Ohio.

  7. Which is all fine and dandy except for the fact that one only has to look out to California to realize that there has to be changes. But…when both sides can’t move from their positions because their special interest groups ie…Democrats- Big Labor, Republicans- Big Business, won’t let them- something has to be done.

    Raising taxes indiscriminately isn’t the answer- but there has to be a new way of doing things to bring down the debt.

    • how about they stop giving tax cuts indiscriminately? that sounds like an excellent way of bringing down the debt.

      • Sure. First I’d start with corporate welfare. Then you completely gut the tax system and start over- no loopholes, no deductions, no getting out of paying.

        • sounds good to me! i hope they get it on camera when they cut off the farm subsidies, and a lot of politicians, including many rethuglican members of the wisconsin senate, michele batshit bachmann, and chuck grassley, all get the news that the gravy train doesn’t stop at their family homesteads anymore.