Collective bargaining battle far from over
Charles Benson reports Video by 620wtmj.comvideo
MADISON- The legal battle over the collective bargaining law is about to get longer and more expensive.
A Dane County judge struck down the law last week, and now it's going to be appealed.
On Tuesday, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will throw a big red flag. He wants a higher court to review the law that was ruled unconstitutional, and put everything on hold until a decision is made.
"There's going to be confusion even if a stay is entered," said former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske. She predicts a court will put the brakes on the recent decision until the case is appealed, but if they don't. "Well then we have chaos," said Geske.
"The problem is clear, all future negotiations will be without the law but the problem is past negotiation or the 'lack there of' was based on that law."
The Supreme Court could speed up the process by taking the case right away and bypassing the court of appeals. It would take four justices to say yes; the issues are complex.
"It was unconstitutional primarily because there are two classes of workers: the workers who don't have a collective bargaining agreement can fight for wages above the cost of living increases, and the others can't," said Geske.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen thinks the state will ultimately prevail. "We've got a lot people working on this case."
State taxpayers have already been billed $728,000 in legal fees to defend the law. Throw in $13.5 million in this year's recall races and it starts to add up.
"The will of the people who have spoken through the legislature and the governorship should not be upset until it's ultimately struck down, if it is," said Van Hollen.