A judge in Wisconsin has overturned major parts of Scott Walker’s anti-union regulation:
Judge Colás said the law improperly punished workers who exercised their freedom of association to unionize by limiting them to smaller raises (generally no higher than the inflation rate) than nonunion workers could receive.
The law cut back collective bargaining rights for teachers and most city and county employees, but exempted police officers and firefighters. Judge Colás noted that the law hurt the teachers’ union and others by prohibiting cities, counties and school districts from collecting dues from employee paychecks and passing them on to unions, while there was no such prohibition regarding the public safety unions.
The judge wrote that the teachers’ and nonpublic safety unions were similarly situated to public safety unions but “unequally treated” without any justification. Thus, he found a violation of equal protection.
It’s a supreme irony that the very selective targeting of the Wisconsin legistation that made it politically viable (targeting teachers and skipping over police and firefighters) might make it legally unconstitutional.