January 18, 2013

7th Circuit upholds Gov. Walker's much-protested collective bargaining legislation.

"The district court invalidated Act 10's recertification and payroll deduction provisions, but upheld the statute's limitation on collective bargaining. We now uphold Act 10 in its entirety."
Voting to uphold the law in its entirety were Judges Joel M. Flaum and William J. Bauer. Flaum wrote the opinion.

Judge David F. Hamilton dissented in part, saying he believed part of the collective bargaining law violated the First Amendment. Hamilton argued the state could not bar some unions from having their dues deducted from paychecks while it allowed police and fire unions to do so.
ADDED: Here's the opinion PDF.

AND: The panel said it's well-settled that "use of the state’s payroll systems to collect union dues is a state subsidy of speech that requires only viewpoint neutrality." The law didn't target any particular viewpoints. It subsidized the speech of public safety unions but not other public employee unions, and the unions had argued that the speech of the groups that were subsidized would be more favorable to the party that supported the legislation and so Act 10 wasn't genuinely viewpoint neutral, but only the dissenting judge agreed.

43 comments:

SteveR said...

First Green Bay loses and now Walker wins. Bad week for garage.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Wisconsin should include fire fighters and law enforcement after the next election.

chickelit said...

Should Hamilton have argued under Equal Protection as there are more men than women in the ranks of police and firefighters?

edutcher said...

This may push a couple of states over the line.

BarrySanders20 said...

The judges were swayed by the catchy "Stand With" tune. Couldn't get it out of their heads during oral argument and didn't hear a word from union's counsel. In the end, they were compelled to Stand With Governor Walker.

Scott M said...

Hamilton argued the state could not bar some unions from having their dues deducted from paychecks while it allowed police and fire unions to do so.

Apparently they can. Sausage...made.

Patrick said...

Predictably, the 7th Circuit got this correct, particularly the portion on the Unions' First Amendment claims. The automatic payroll deduction, the court says is a subsidy of the Unions' speech (and even that is giving a broad definition of speech), so removing that subsidy is not equivalent to erecting a barrier to it.

I note that Barca's claim that the court found that the law was designed to punish the Governor's opponents is also misleading at best. The court noted that some of the unions that were not restricted by Act 10 supported the Governor, but many did not.

gerry said...

Wisconsin should include fire fighters and law enforcement after the next election.

That didn't work in Ohio, but the taxpayers there haven't learned yet how the police and fire unions are screwing them.

What can't go on won't go on.

garage mahal said...

The Republican-appointed Judge Joel Flaum notes in the decision that 'the United States Constitution does not forbid all legislation that rewards friends and punishes opponents.'"

Unions that endorsed Walker have bargaining rights. Get a CLUE unions!

BarrySanders20 said...

Garage notes:

"The Republican-appointed Judge Joel Flaum notes in the decision that 'the United States Constitution does not forbid all legislation that rewards friends and punishes opponents.'"

Obama, Constitutional lecturer, says, "Amen, brother!"

Patrick said...

Unions that endorsed Walker have bargaining rights. Get a CLUE unions!

Many of the unions that endorsed Barrett have bargaining rights. And, when it comes to wages, all of them do. No reason not to be clear about it, is there?

elkh1 said...

"use of the state’s payroll systems to collect union dues is a state subsidy of speech ..."

How about those non-union workers? Where is their "state subsidy of speech"? I think police and fire unions should not be allowed the "state subsidy" either.

Patrick said...

The Republican-appointed Judge Joel Flaum notes in the decision that 'the United States Constitution does not forbid all legislation that rewards friends and punishes opponents.'"

If this were not the case, there would be virtually no legislation passed.

No Obamacare. No GM Bankruptcy shenanigans. Kinda makes one think...

Maybe there's a reason that some folks want a smaller government. We know there's a reason why interest groups pay so much to lobby and influence Congress: It's totally worth it. We just need to make it not worth it.

And yes, I'm quite aware that Republicans in Congress are less than noble in this regard.

garage mahal said...

Patrick,
From the dissent:

"The net effect is that all public employees represented by unions that endorsed Governor Walker continue to enjoy collective bargaining … On the other hand, nearly all members of the public employee unions that did not endorse Governor Walker are categorized general employees. Their bargaining rights have been reduced to a hollow shell..."

Patrick said...

Garage,

Yes, the dissent says that. It is still not a complete description of what occurred, and its omissions make it misleading.

All you'd need to do is add "many of the "public safety unions" did not endorse Governor Walker, and still retain their former bargaining rights. "Non public safety unions" can still bargain over their wages, but no longer bargain over other matters, including work rules, etc."

Patrick said...

And I disagree that bargaining over wages is a "hollow shell."

garage mahal said...

And I disagree that bargaining over wages is a "hollow shell."

Unions not exempted under Act 10 can't bargain over wages. But non union workers can.

Walkers World.

Calypso Facto said...

"the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin - the two state organizations - backed [Barrett]"

I don't know wtf you're talking about garage.

Brennan said...

The state ought not to be direct depositing dues for police and firefighters either.

Private organizations should be funded with voluntary contributions. This is state coercion.

A member of the Police or Firefighters should sue the State of Wisconsin.

LuAnn Zieman said...

Brennan-- Just what the State needs--more lawsuits--more tax payer expenses. Please.

LuAnn Zieman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sigivald said...

Patrick said: We know there's a reason why interest groups pay so much to lobby and influence Congress: It's totally worth it. We just need to make it not worth it.

True.

And that's also why more minimal government removes civil rights problems and reduces non-fiscal interest group lobbying (by which I mean, lobbying by groups that aren't merely rent-seeking; that want an ideological rather than fiscal payout).

If the State can't ban or require something, and has no gravy to ladle out on your pet project, and no power to oppress your members - what do you need to lobby it for?

The one thing that encourages the State to be corrupt most centrally, is the power of the State - if the State doesn't control X, people interested in X, in either direction, have nothing to gain or lose by lobbying or not lobbying.

Everyone wins, except the authoritarians and rent-seekers.

Sigivald said...

LuAnn Zieman Complained: Brennan-- Just what the State needs--more lawsuits--more tax payer expenses. Please.

The State could easily avoid such a suit by stopping doing that without a lawsuit.

So one must then ask why you seem to have decided that whatever we have now is correct and wrong to sue over, rather than wrong, and thus the state should preemptively fix it to avoid the expense... if, after all, the problem is the cost of litigating the question.

RonF said...

garage, please tell me how the State interferes with a union's First Amendment rights by not acting as a collection agent for its dues.

Maguro said...

garage, if you like strong public employees unions that much, you ought to move to Illinois. It is a worker's paradise, comrade, trust me on this.

Titus said...

Speaking of Wisconsin whatever happened to The Gobbler Motel and Restaurant-my parents told me that had heard from some rich people that the bar actually moved around like a carousel.

Gobble Gobble one of us.

pogo101 said...

Garage must be particularly sweating. Even the partially-dissenting judge, Hamilton, expressly concedes that the state could strip ALL unions from state dues deducting. The ONLY part of the law that Hamilton took issue with was the fact that it separated public-safety unions (which still get state help in deducting) and all other unions (which don't).

Shorter version: all three judges agreed that it's constitutional for a state to bar governmental dues-collection for ALL of its unions.

If this were a football game, the score would be 56 to 3.

pogo101 said...

Garage lied,

"Unions not exempted under Act 10 can't bargain over wages."

Actually, they can. But base wages are ALL they can collectively bargain on.

From the beginning of linked opinion, which you of course didn't read: "Among other things,
the Act prohibited general employees from collectively
bargaining on issues other than “base wages" ... . (Slip op. at 2.)

But Garage, you should have known this anyway. Only a few state PEU-represented employees are getting huge base salaries. What was killing the budget were the non-salary benefits, work rules, etc., etc.

You either have a convenient memory, forgot to type a "not" or are a horrible liar.

RonF said...

The link to the decision in the cited article is bad. It's actually at http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/P111RKTF.pdf

John Burgess said...

The link to the PDF of the decision is broken.

garage mahal said...

Actually, they can. But base wages are ALL they can collectively bargain on. .

Limited increase to no more than the consumer price index over the prior 12 months.

cubanbob said...

Bargaining with elected officials is a sham and a fraud. The PEU's should bargain directly with the taxpayers via a ballot initiative durring a regularly scheduled election.

Andy Freeman said...

> Unions not exempted under Act 10 can't bargain over wages. But non union workers can.

While unions may not be able to bargain over wages, union workers can, or at least could if their union agreement didn't forbid it.

If they don't like that restriction, they're free to remove it.

Michael Haz said...

Here's the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's reax from it's press release:

"Neener neener neener Koch Brothers doody-head corporate profits solidarity Scotty don't-value-teachers hurts children equal pay neener Ian's Pizza rally on Saturday racist haters unionz forevs."

Revenant said...

Good news for Wisconsin. Congrats!

As for taking on police and fire fighters: divide and conquer, boys. Divide and conquer. Police and fire fighter unions need to go, too.

Personally, I was a little curious to see a possible follow-up, if it had been ruled that it was illegal to treat police differently from teachers. Specifically, a challenge to laws allowing police to carry weapons other people can't.

Watching people leap to explain why, oh no, it is totally ok to give police special rights SOME of the time? That would have been great.

chickelit said...

garage mahal whined about union's pay increase limitations...

Limited increase to no more than the consumer price index over the prior 12 months.

Monopoly control over services like teaching, nursing, firefighting, policing...and all they can do is push the envelope of inflation? Good thing Obama got healthcare and energy prices under control.

garage mahal said...

garage mahal whined about union's pay increase limitations...

I wasn't whining about anyone's pay.

Patrick said...

Titus, last time I went past, the Gobbler building was still there. Who knows whether the shag carpet is still there. I cannot recall how long it has been closed, but must be coming up on 20 years.

Patrick said...

Wow. Who knew Hartwig's Gobbler was involved in a landmark sex discrimination case?

Wikipedia did

JorgXMcKie said...

pogo101, you're wrong. "You either have a convenient memory, forgot to type a "not" or are a horrible liar."

Garbage is a *great* liar.

garage mahal said...

I'm a liar for correctly making a correction to a post incorrectly calling me a liar. Wheeeeeeeeeeee[!]

Brew Master said...

Still waiting on that indictment......

I hear it's coming down any day now, someone once said around here......

Squirrel!

Alex said...

When is the Walker indictment coming down?