Wisconsin Judge: Collective Bargaining Law Not In Effect

Wisconsin state judge Maryann Sumi has ruled that the state’s hotly contested collective bargaining law is not in effect and cannot be implemented:

Wisconsin’s new collective bargaining law has not been published and is not in effect, a judge has ordered.

Judge Maryann Sumi ordered Thursday morning that the law “has not been published within the meaning” of Wisconsin law and “is therefore not in effect.”

A spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker had no immediate comment, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, could not be reached immediately for comment.

But Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, repeated his previous statements that the judge “wants to keep interjecting herself into the legislative process with no regard to the state constitution.”

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration could not be reached immediately for comment.

Something tells me this isn’t quite over yet.


FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jay Dubbs says:

    I would expect that if the Court has to enter another ruling to this effect, it will include the phrase ” bring your checkbook or your toothbrush.”

  2. PD Shaw says:

    The weird thing about this is that the Republicans are contending that the validity of the law is not ripe for review until published based upon a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision from the 40s. That issue is on appeal.

    Two questions:

    Why don’t the Republicans repass the law?
    Why doesn’t the judge allow the published law to be considered published to overcome the ripeness problem?

    The answer is probably the same.

  3. Jay Dubbs says:

    Even if they have strong legal arguments (and I may be an educated man, but can’t speak very knowledgeably about 1940’s Wisconsin precedent) the place to make them is the Courtroom, not lose in the Courtroom and then announce to the public that you are going to ignore the Court’s ruling, because you disagree with it. It’s wrong on every possible level.

  4. PD Shaw says:

    Jay, if you want a fair and short summary of the issues, I would look at this filing by the Court of Appeals, which said the the issue had merit, but it thought should be decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to ensure uniformity. Essentially, the question is whether the Open Meetings Act changed the law in Wisconsin, which previously precluded pre-publication jurisdiction.