Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi issued a permanent restraining order last week striking down the controversial collective bargaining legislation, 2011 Wisconsin Act 10. In her decision, Judge Sumi ruled that the State Senate violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law. As a result, Judge Sumi issued a temporary restraining order that prohibited Act 10 from going into effect. In her ruling, Judge Sumi concluded that the Republican-controlled Legislature violated the law because they failed to give at least two hours notice to the public and failed to provide adequate space for the public to view conference committee proceedings.
The decision was issued just a week before the Wisconsin Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments over the original temporary restraining order issued by Judge Sumi. On Monday, June 6, the Supreme Court heard roughly five and half hours of oral arguments.
The Legislature does have the option of passing the bill again, thereby making the case moot. However, this opens up the possibility that Senate Democrats will again flee, or that Republicans facing recall may be hesitant to pass this bill, especially just weeks before the July 12 recall elections.