The Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining legislation, passed in March despite widespread opposition, can now go into effect.The decision overrules a lower-level judge who halted implementation of the law on the grounds that Republican lawmakers violated an open-meetings law by rushing the bill through committee without giving the public advance notice.
The Supreme Court voted 4-3 along widely-recognised partisan lines, the Wall Street Journal reports. The majority decision stated that committees of legislators are exempt from the open-meetings law.
“The majority of the Supreme Court is essentially saying that the Legislature is above the law,” Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s now clear that unless the constitution is amended, the Legislature is free to ignore any laws on the books.”
While the court’s decision ends one challenge to the controversial law, many others are expected as the law goes into effect. Thousands of protestors swarmed the state capitol in Madison yesterday as the decision was announced.
Governor Walker released a brief statement praising the decision. “The Supreme Court’s ruling provides our state the opportunity to move forward together and focus on getting Wisconsin working again,” he said.
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