Hitting the GOP pachyderm with a 2x4 to get his attention | WisCommunity

Hitting the GOP pachyderm with a 2x4 to get his attention

Could Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi be anymore direct and explicit? At the end of today's hearing, which did not resolve the overall issue of whether Scott Walker's union busting bill was passed in accord with the state's open meetings law, she admonished those in the Walker administration who have gone ahead and acted as though the legislation was now officially enacted. Her comments in court say it all:

"Now that I've made my earlier order as clear as it possibly can be, I must state that those who act in open and willful defiance of the court order place not only themselves at peril of sanctions, they also jeopardize the financial and the governmental stability of the state of Wisconsin. Apparently that language was either misunderstood or ignored, but what I said was 'the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 is enjoined.' That's what I now want to make crystal clear."

Assistant Attorney General Steven Means apparently wasn't very crystal clear on what the judge meant. After the hearing, he insisted that the state's position will continue to pertain. That position: The union-busting bill is the law of the land following its "publication" by the Legislative Reference Bureau. Thus, presumably, the Walker administration will continue charging state employees more for heatlh premiums and pension contributions while declining to collect union dues for represented employees.

If this keeps up, it'll soon be time to loose the hounds and get out the tar and feathers.

During the hearing, the Department of Justice continued its Alice in Wonderland legal rationale, arguing the proceeding should be ended because the l#444444; font-size: 12px;">aw is now in effect -- which is tautology, since -- ahem! -- not everyone agrees that's the case, requiring a judicial determination. But the GOP's got that covered, too, saying the courts have no legal jurisdiction to even consider the dispute. Notwithstanding Justice David Prosser's probable agreement with his ex-GOP colleagues, one must ask: Oh, really?

#444444; font-size: 12px;">In any case, Sumi rejected the DOJ's circular argument.

#444444; font-size: 12px;">Coming up next, maybe: DOJ attorneys argue administration officials shouldn't be charged if they one day are caught stealing money from the state treasury, because, well, the money's already gone and, anyway, it wasn't stolen, and besides that, if it was stolen, the legal system has no jurisdiction.

Published

March 29, 2011 - 7:42pm

Author