Late on Friday, March 25, Gov. Scott Walker and his administration claimed that their union-busting bill was now law, even though a judge had issued a temporary restraining order preventing it from taking effect just a week before.
Citing a dubious standard, the Walker administration said the publication of the law by the Legislative Reference Bureau made the whole thing legit.
And the Walker administration says it's already in the process of enforcing the law.
The outcry was loud and instantaneous over the weekend.
"This latest power grab by Governor Walker and his allies is a naked assault on Wisconsin's democratic institutions," said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. "It should be clear to all fair minded people, no matter what their position on collective bargaining rights, that enacting dramatic change in Wisconsin law in direct violation of a court order, and creating mass confusion about whether the law is in effect or not, is an act of treachery against our basic civic structures. Governor Walker and his allies have violated their oaths of office, and made a mockery of Wisconsin's proud tradition of open and democratic government."
"This is not the Wisconsin I know," said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. "Once again Scott Walker and his Republican majority have used illegal backdoor maneuvers to ram through a deeply unpopular bill attacking Wisconsin families. This is a dark day for Wisconsin and a travesty to our democracy. Scott Walker is making up his own rules and ignoring long established democratic and judicial processes. He is ignoring the principles that we hold dear to our hearts in Wisconsin and in America."
On Tuesday morning at the Dane County courthouse, there will be a hearing on the legality of the law. Judge Maryann Sumi will be presiding. She's the judge who imposed the restraining order on the grounds that the Republican legislature likely violated the state open meetings law when it railroaded the bill through committee on March 9. All of Wisconsin awaits her opinion on the latest Walker power grab.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Does Gov. Walker Have His Own Private Security Detail?"
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