Wisconsin Judge Proves Government Unions Aren’t Only Ones in Need of Reform
Hans von Spakovsky /
Should it be any surprise that in a state like Wisconsin that has been under the thrall of liberals for far too long, a local judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the collective bargaining law recently passed by the legislature? Or that the judge sees nothing wrong with interfering directly in the legislative process?
Judge Maryann Sumi issued her one-sentence order without a written explanation. The complaint filed by Democratic District Attorney Ismael Ozanne claims that a meeting of the Joint Committee of Conference on the collective bargaining bill in the “Senate Parlor” of the state capitol was apparently a horrible crime because it is “not reasonably accessible to the public.” And access to the capitol building had been “restricted.”
Oh, horrors! Of course, the D.A. fails to mention that access had been restricted to prevent union thugs from trashing the buildings – oops, I guess that didn’t work since those union agitators inflicted a fortune’s worth of damages. Ozanne also claimed that the two-hour notice given before the committee meeting violated a joint rule of the legislature requiring 24 hours notice, therefore violating the state’s open records laws.
But as Christian Schneider of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute pointed out over at NRO, that 24-hour rule doesn’t apply to a special session bill, “which gives it a completely different status than a regular bill.” Senate Rule 93(2) states that “notice of a committee meeting is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and a bulletin of committee hearings may not be published.” So Schneider says not even the two hours that the Democrats actually got was required.
But once again we have an apparently activist judge violating the very essence of separation of powers inherent in all state constitutional governments and interpreting an internal legislative rule of a legislative body. They don’t just need to clean out the bloated public sector unions in Wisconsin’s government; they obviously need to clean up the out-of-control judiciary, too.