March 25, 2011- Wisconsin Republicans stunned the nation today when they published Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union bill in seeming violation of a restraining order. The legislation was enjoined from publishing by a judge who ruled that Republicans violated the Open Meeting law when passing it. By publishing their anti-union legislation and turning it into law, Scott Walker and the Republicans may have killed the bill.
Republicans skirted the judge’s order today by having the legislation published by an agency other than the specifically enjoined Secretary of State, claiming that the constitution does not specify which body must publish a law, while Democrats claim that the law must be published by the SOS.
Which body may or must publish the law appears a moot point, given the judge’s specific ruling, wherein it is clear that she is enjoining and restraining the bill in a much broader context than merely the SOS:
The Wisconsin State Journal reported:
An order signed March 18 by Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi bars La Follette from publishing the bill. But as she verbally issued her decision at the end of a hearing the same day, the scope of her order was broader.
“I do, therefore, restrain and enjoin the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10,” Sumi said, according to a transcript. “The next step in implementation of that law would be the publication of that law by the secretary of state. He is restrained and enjoined from such publication until further order of this court.”
By attempting to go around the judge’s order, the Republicans violate the spirit of her ruling if not the letter of it. In any case, this won’t be the Wisconsin Republicans first run at violating the law in order to push their anti-union measure through.
It’s obvious from recent events, including the Wisconsin Republicans attempting to intimidate a Professor who wrote a critical article about their actions for the New York Times by demanding his emails through the Wisconsin Open Records law, that the Republicans are desperate. Apparently they are so desperate that they are no longer trying to hide their agenda under the guise of a budget issue, let alone pretend what they are doing is legal.