March 18, 2011- Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order Friday, barring the publication of a controversial new law that would sharply curtail collective bargaining for public employees.
Sumi’s order will prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law until she can rule on the merits of the case. Dane County Ismael Ozanne is seeking to block the law because he says a legislative committee violated the state’s open meetings law.
Sumi said Ozanne was likely to succeed on the merits.
"It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the (law)," she said.
The judge’s finding – at least for now – is a setback to Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a victory for opponents, who have spent weeks in the Capitol to protest the bill.
Asst. Atty. Gen Steven Means, who was part of the state's legal team, said after the ruling that "we disagree with it."
"And the reason they have appellate courts is because circuit court judges make errors and they have in this case."
Means said the state would "entertain an appeal."