Wisconsin Seeks to Thwart Union Law Ruling

     MADISON, Wis. (CN) — Wisconsin has asked a state appeals court to stay a lower court’s decision to overturn the state’s anti-union “right to work” law.
     Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel filed a motion Friday asking the states appeals court to issue an emergency stay.
     Schimel’s action came after the state failed to secure an injunction from Judge William Foust, the Dane County Circuit Court judge who overturned the law on its merits.
     “Judge Foust’s decision has created considerable confusion regarding the right-to-work law,” Schimel said in an e-mailed statement.
     The law, which prevents unions from charging dues to nonmembers that may benefit from their services, is one of several like it passed in “over half” of U.S. states, according to the statement
     Wisconsin’s law was signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker after a 24-hour session in the GOP-controlled legislature ended on March 6, 2015. The lawsuit followed a day later.
     The unions who brought suit were unable to secure a temporary injunction that same month.
     But their disappointment didn’t last. On April 8, 2016, Foust found that forbidding unions from collecting “fair share” payments from non-members was an unconstitutional taking of their services.
     The state Department of Justice immediately sought a reprieve from the law’s repeal, but failed to secure a temporary injunction in April.
     “The circuit court’s unprecedented decision, holding unconstitutional a right-to-work law forbidding the forced subsidization of labor unions, cries out for a stay pending appeal,” the memo supporting the emergency stay petition reads.
     Schimel on Friday repeated his refrain that right-to-work laws in 25 other states have been found constitutional, and he is “confident” that Wisconsin’s will be no exception.
     Contrary to Foust’s finding, the Department of Justice claims in its brief that its challenge of his decision is “extremely likely” to succeed on its merits.Such a contentious case is likely to end up in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which is handily controlled by conservatives.

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