Marquette Law Professor: Key Wisconsin Labor-Law Reforms Have Been Upheld

Shark and Shepherd: The core of Act 10 survives

Attorney Rick Esenberg

On March 30, U.S. District Judge William Conley rebuffed a bid by Wisconsin government union lawyers to get the Right to Work provision in Act 10, the public-sector labor-law reform adopted by Badger State legislators and signed into law last year by GOP Gov. Scott Walker over Big Labor’s vociferous protests, declared unconstitutional.  The judge also rejected union lawyers’ efforts to overturn Act 10 provisions substantially reducing the scope of teacher and other government union officials’ monopoly-bargaining privileges. However, certain other aspects of Act 10 not directly related to forced dues or the scope of monopoly bargaining were found to be unconstitutional.

In addition to upholding most of Act 10, Judge Conley’s order granted three Wisconsin civil servants represented by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) attorneys “friend of the court” status in the case. All of these employees are now exercising their Right to Work without being forced to fork over union dues to Big Labor thanks to Act 10.

In the blog post linked above, WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg, who is also an adjunct law professor at Marquette University, furnishes a good brief analysis of the Act 10 ruling, which Big Labor lawyers are almost certain to appeal.