While You Were Living Elsewhere (Or Not)

In case you missed it (and even if you didn't), yesterday Wisconsin's Supreme Court overturned Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi's decision to void the state's new law curtailing public employees' rights.

The law charges government employees for their pensions, doubles workers' contributions to their health insurance premiums, limits collective bargaining to an annual discussion about what fraction of a cost-of-living increase workers might see in their wages, makes unions hold annual recertification elections, and prohibits them from deducting dues from members' paychecks. It will go into effect on June 29, although more litigation is inevitable.

After an excruciating close election this April, conservatives held a four-to-three majority of Wisconsin's state court. Thanks, Citizens United!

Personally, I thought that the one slim chance of getting this law overturned was Judge Sumi's decision. She did not rule on the basis of whether it was constitution to destroy public workers' unions, something I wager most conservatives favor.

Rather, Sumi ruled that the Wisconsin legislature passed the law illegally, given that um, [video opens at link] holy shit [transcript here] did they ever break the open meetings law. Indeed, the Republicans were so brazen, Democrats didn't even have a chance to read, much less debate, the legislation under consideration.

But, whatever. Four State Supreme Court justices ruled that this sort of behavior was totally legal. I'm not clear what their rationale was. Justice Prosser appeared to argue that because at least one of the lawmakers was a lawyer, the process was therefore legal. Alrighty, then. I never really liked representative democracy anyway.

Via someone on the Internet pretending to be Bob LaFollette.

ETA: Speaking of end times, there's a column at Forbes.com that does a much better job of making my point. H/t TiernaFeminista is the comments.

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