Breaking: Judge Sumi strikes down Walker PEU reform law

posted at 11:06 am on May 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

To no one’s great surprise, Judge Maryann Sumi struck down Wisconsin’s reform legislation that limits collective bargaining rights for all state employees save first responders.  Her 33-page ruling relied on a technicality rather than the law itself, claiming that the state’s open-meeting law was violated and that all results from that action have to be voided:

In a 33-page decision issued Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said she would freeze the legislation because GOP lawmakers on a committee broke the state’s open meetings law in passing it March 9. …

“This decision explains why it is necessary to void the legislative actions flowing from those violations,” wrote Sumi, who was appointed to the bench by former GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Except, according to Republican legislators, that rule didn’t apply. The legislature was in special session, which changes the requirements under the open-meeting law, so they claim that the violation was moot.  This is disturbing in another sense, which is that the legislature sets its own rules as an independent branch of government.  The judiciary should not intrude on their prerogative to set rules for their own operation, within the confines of the state and federal constitutions.

Sumi’s issuance of a temporary injunction on this basis gave a large hint to today’s decision, so no one should be stunned by her ruling.  The case will quickly go to the Supreme Court, which will have to determine whether to allow district courts to dictate legislative rules.  However, the legislature can just as easily pass the bill again — but if they want to do that, they should do it quickly before schools let out and teachers have a lot of free time on their hands.

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Hmmm, is it time to defund the courts?

sadatoni on May 26, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Your correct i’m just having fun,i enjoy her spunk till see inevitably goes over the dimwit edge.

heshtesh on May 26, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I’m curious, how do you feel about the PPACA litigation?
crr6 on May 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Since the law on its face is unconstitutional and was pushed through with bribery, threats etc. and against the will of the majority, it needed to be litigated.

VBMax on May 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM

OT but related (sort of)

(The Hill)Grassley vows to block nominees until he gets answers on gun sales

Grassley is pressing the Department of Justice (DOJ) on who initiated the “Gun Runner” program that authorized the sale of guns to people acting as straw purchasers for drug cartels in Mexico. Gun Runner might have contributed to the death of at least one federal agent.

Insert witty screen name here on May 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Your a nice person.

heshtesh on May 26, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Schadenfreude,cdseven and petrollia would prolly disagree.

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 12:38 PM

The legislative process, initiated by Democrats, seemed just fine when Democrats held the legislative majority. Wonder what has changed?

pat on May 26, 2011 at 12:38 PM

How do you feel about the actions of the All-Democrat Florida Supreme Court in December of 2000?

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Which time? Twice the SCOTUS slapped ‘em down. Slapped ‘em down hard!
Disenfranchise me, will ya?

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 12:40 PM

angryed on May 26, 2011 at 11:24 AM
Anger makes you ugly.

Badger40 on May 26, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Not that YOU are ugly, angryed!

Badger40 on May 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM

prolly
Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I knew I’d get you to use that word!

Badger40 on May 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Except, according to Republican legislators, that rule didn’t apply… The legislature was in special session, which changes the requirements under the open-meeting law, so they claim that the violation was moot.

This is why we have judges, to determine if a law has been broken or violated in some way. I don’t see the problem here.

Are you really saying we should just take the Republican’s word that they didn’t violate the law?

Tom_Shipley on May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

m_Shipley on May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Hang down your head Tom
Ship leeeeey
Hang down your head and cry

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Are you really saying we should just take the Republican’s word that they didn’t violate the law?

Tom_Shipley on May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

No, because a liberal functionary, who checks such, said that they didn’t…at the time it happened. Check it out.

Schadenfreude on May 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

How do you feel about the actions of the All-Democrat Florida Supreme Court in December of 2000?

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Which time? Twice the SCOTUS slapped ‘em down. Slapped ‘em down hard!

Disenfranchise me, will ya?

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Well, the first time SCOTUS rejected their attempt to rewrite election law after the election had taken place by a 9-0 vote.

Then, SCOTUS gently asked them to try again.

When they did so, their second attempt was so blatantly Activist that even their own Chief Justice, Charles Wells, bitterly dissented from their “majority opinion”, correctly predicting that they would be slapped down by SCOTUS again.

That “ruling” was in fact slapped down 7-2.

But please remember, there is no such thing as a Democrat Activist Judge!

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

This is why we have judges, to determine if a law has been broken or violated in some way. I don’t see the problem here.

Tom_Shipley on May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Is there such a thing as an Activist Democrat Judge?

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Your a nice person.

heshtesh on May 26, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Lanceman is a very smart, wise and nice person, and I vouch for him, would fight any cause with him.

He got a tad carried away the other night, or now and then, but don’t we all? These are dire times and we must fight, fight, fight. The children deserve no less.

Schadenfreude on May 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM

The requirement was that the posting be put on the bulletin board (which, as I saw yesterday) is literally a push-pin bulletin board next to the senate chamber. It’s a very nice push-pin bulletin board with a dark wood frame.

As a “courtesy”, an email was sent to the last known address of the Democrats (tee hee) as none of them were IN Wisconsin at the time. No Democrats were around to see the posting on the bulletin board, so how can they testify whether it was there or not?

At least one of the Dems admitted to “speeding” while trying to get back to Madison (it’s a 2 hour drive) from the border.

The was, in no way, a secret meeting. The senate chambers were loaded with the legal number of spectators, and the cameras were on.

I read somewhere, that the real penalty for breaking the notification rules (if this indeed happened) is a $100-$500 fine.

Daisy_WI on May 26, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Is she starting a goatee, there, or is that just bad lighting?

Jaibones on May 26, 2011 at 12:56 PM

But please remember, there is no such thing as a Democrat Activist Judge!

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

…sure…and Obama is a genius, unparalelled, and Michelle is the most classy woman on Earth…and Tom_Shipley is objective.

Schadenfreude on May 26, 2011 at 12:58 PM

This is no big deal. Of course the dipsh!t liberal judge ruled this way — it was all the lib/Dem/union/scum/activists had left in their desperation.

A judge with a functioning legal brain will overrule her juvenile decision and Walker will move on with his plans to unravel the leftist machinery of Madison.

Can anyone figure out why Thompson would appoint such a liberal dumb-a$$ to the state court?

Jaibones on May 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Judge Maryann Sumi

Finlander logic.

Born with socialism in the blood.

Bruno Strozek on May 26, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Do not forget the target of the Union/government alliance in Wisconsin. This is only the first of the lawsuits. This politically aligned judge dragged out her ruling until after the election recount ended. This is all about stalling.

Yet another union/government alliance person is the chief justice on that court. She will drag her feet in hearing this case for as long as possible. The Wisconsin supreme court will eventually toss out this judges ruling.

At that point, there will be the next set of lawsuits against the application of the Wisconsin law. There will be yet another low level judgement, possibly by this same Sumi, that restrains the implementation of this law until hearings on it’s merits can be heard. This will take many more months.

Revoting on this law will not change this process in any way, shape, or form.

What is being exposed are the number of union/government enthusiasts that have embedded themselves into the government.

Freddy on May 26, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Why is there a picture of Steven Crowder for this piece?

cyclown on May 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

After that, the well does go dry.

a capella on May 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Mary Landrieu.

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 11:51 AM

YMMV. Military Mary’s my senior senator and the only way I’d hit that is with my elbow to her face. Which, coincidentally, I almost did by accident years before she made it to DC.

teke184 on May 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Wisconsin open for business, Illinois not so much.

Schadenfreude on May 26, 2011 at 1:08 PM

teke184 on May 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Beer goggles. Thick ones.

a capella on May 26, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Can anyone figure out why Thompson would appoint such a liberal dumb-a$$ to the state court?

Jaibones on May 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

She is a LOCAL judge. No doubt, she fits in with the tiny part of the state that is in her jurisdiction. What has also happened is that she has grabbed onto a state wide issue that is, IMHO, outside of her jurisdiction.

Freddy on May 26, 2011 at 1:12 PM

This is why we have judges, to determine if a law has been broken or violated in some way. I don’t see the problem here.

Are you really saying we should just take the Republican’s word that they didn’t violate the law?

Tom_Shipley on May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Evidently, there was no law broken.

Badger40 on May 26, 2011 at 1:14 PM

A judge named “sue me”! Heh!

Shy Guy on May 26, 2011 at 1:16 PM

teke184 on May 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I forgot Democrat Stephanie Sandlin from SD who lost to Republican Kristi Noem, both pretty cute, although Noem has been a bit of a disappointment in the voting department.

a capella on May 26, 2011 at 1:18 PM

That “ruling” was in fact slapped down 7-2.

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

All I know is they tried to disenfranchise me and 536 of my redneck buddies.

You can understand my indignation, right cur6?

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM

As Sumi is a mummy-like creature, here may be a good spot to share this piece — Egypt’s Lost Pyramids Discovered by Satellite Imaging

Mutnodjmet on May 26, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Can anyone figure out why Thompson would appoint such a liberal dumb-a$$ to the state court?

Jaibones on May 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

He probably had to pick from the attorney pool in Dane County (where MadTown is located).

Wethal on May 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Lanceman

He got a tad carried away the other night, or now and then, but don’t we all?

Schadenfreude on May 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I know how long petoonya, cdseven and hollowpoint have been here.
I know they ain’t regular troll types.
I also know I will vote for the eventual nominee. But in the primary, if it is to be, I will vote for and give money to Sarah.
If for no other reason than to say “Count it!” to the curdog on her electoral victory.
Which is not to indicate any dislike for the curdog the contrary, she ain’t a punk like narutoputz and some others who shall remain nameless.
What the hell. I’ll name another one – Dork-Star.

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 1:26 PM

teke184 on May 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I forgot Democrat Stephanie Sandlin from SD who lost to Republican Kristi Noem, both pretty cute, although Noem has been a bit of a disappointment in the voting department.

a capella on May 26, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Do you count Dem spouses? If so, the Keebler Elf representing Cleveland has a British redhead wife who is hot and inexplicably married to him.

teke184 on May 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I forgot Democrat Stephanie Sandlin from SD who lost to Republican Kristi Noem, both pretty cute, although Noem has been a bit of a disappointment in the voting department.

a capella on May 26, 2011 at 1:18 PM

You al are forgetting the queen bee of skagdom. She looks like she’s trying out for the part of Cleopatra Jones follow the vid to the end, too funny “She’s 6’2″ of pure dynomite!”

Alden Pyle on May 26, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Lanceman on May 26, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Tell us how you really feel about trolls! ;p

ladyingray on May 26, 2011 at 1:33 PM

FIFY

spinach.chin on May 26, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Tommy_G is kinda fat, but I’ve lost 25 pounds so far this year.

Tommy_G on May 26, 2011 at 1:34 PM

I don’t know who is more unattractive – this lady, Kagan or Kloppy.

gophergirl on May 26, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Sotomayor and Bader-Ginsburg aren’t exactly oil paintings. And, yes, meow.

SukieTawdry on May 26, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Fine, she cancelled the law because of a technicality. So be it, a meeting wasn’t called properly. So call a meeting properly. You still have a majority. Come on now. do it.

highninside on May 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Fine, she cancelled the law because of a technicality. So be it, a meeting wasn’t called properly. So call a meeting properly. You still have a majority. Come on now. do it.

highninside on May 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM

It’s a technicality that DOESN’T EVEN APPLY. The WI Senate has rules for meetings that supersede those of the Open Meetings Law in Wisconsin.

teke184 on May 26, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Do not forget the target of the Union/government alliance in Wisconsin. This is only the first of the lawsuits. This politically aligned judge dragged out her ruling until after the election recount ended. This is all about stalling.

Yet another union/government alliance person is the chief justice on that court. She will drag her feet in hearing this case for as long as possible. The Wisconsin supreme court will eventually toss out this judges ruling.

At that point, there will be the next set of lawsuits against the application of the Wisconsin law. There will be yet another low level judgement, possibly by this same Sumi, that restrains the implementation of this law until hearings on it’s merits can be heard. This will take many more months.

Revoting on this law will not change this process in any way, shape, or form.

What is being exposed are the number of union/government enthusiasts that have embedded themselves into the government.

Freddy on May 26, 2011 at 1:02 PM

While true the union-gov fraud going on … hearings to qualify a technicality arent part of the process, for the merits of the law arent being challanged – but in fact a technicality of the process is being assumed by a judge.

Now if this liberal hack tries to hold “hearings” on the Legislative Branches rules and laws… WI SC can smack that down in an emergency hearing – of which the onus is upon this hack and the other Dem hacks to show how the rules were violated. They werent – based on Legislative procedure and rules, therefore – its a stalling game, that may be stalled before it gets out of the gate.

This judge is trying to hold hearings on teh merit of the law – yet screwed up by claiming the technicality and is now trying to force the merits, which have no place within her own decision

Odie1941 on May 26, 2011 at 1:51 PM

What do you suppose she blathered on about for 33 pages? Appointed by Thompson? Way to go, Tommy.

SukieTawdry on May 26, 2011 at 2:02 PM

“All your law are belong to me.”

Snaqwels on May 26, 2011 at 2:04 PM

. . . by any means necessary.

No different than Roe.

Pablo Snooze on May 26, 2011 at 2:16 PM

To no one’s great surprise, Judge Maryann Sumi struck down Wisconsin’s reform legislation that limits collective bargaining rights…

 
Even Ed uses the “collective bargaining rights” litany? This is embarrassing.
 

ignatzk on May 26, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I always find it curious that such far left ruling always seem to come from courts of manly looking women or womanly looking men. What’s up with that?

deepdiver on May 26, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Are you really saying we should just take the Republican’s word that they didn’t violate the law?

Tom_Shipley on May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

No more than you’re really saying that we should just take an activist judge’s word that she knows the rules of the legislative session better than the legislators do, or that those rules don’t really say what your eyes can tell you they say, but in reality say what she wants them to say.

Oh wait – you *are* really saying that.

Midas on May 26, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Going by William Jacobson and the plain language of the rules, Sumi has put herself in a tight spot. She said no joint rule contradicted the open meetings law. Except there exists such a rule. Senate rules 93, which is for “Special, extended or extraordinary sessions.” and subsection 2 says “No notice of hearing before a committee shall be required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and no bulletin of committee hearings shall be published.”. Seems obvious Sumi is full of crap.

Zaggs on May 26, 2011 at 3:04 PM

She is just a hack state judge…as this was a political decision, I would simply ignore the silly woman and move it to a more grown up court.

JIMV on May 26, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Since the law on its face is unconstitutional and was pushed through with bribery, threats etc. and against the will of the majority, it needed to be litigated.

VBMax on May 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM

I see. So you admit you’re a hypocrite then?

crr6 on May 26, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Is it my imagination or was this the judge in a previous incarnation?

PatriotPete on May 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Can anyone figure out why Thompson would appoint such a liberal dumb-a$$ to the state court?

Jaibones on May 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

She is a LOCAL judge. No doubt, she fits in with the tiny part of the state that is in her jurisdiction. What has also happened is that she has grabbed onto a state wide issue that is, IMHO, outside of her jurisdiction.

Freddy on May 26, 2011 at 1:12 PM

To be exact, she is a County Judge.

But not an Activist Judge, because she’s a Democrat.

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Leaving a trail of slime wherever she goes.

viking01 on May 26, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Lets refresh everyone’s memory on this, shall we?

See my previous HotAir comment here.

Or for those who I’m sure will not follow the link, why don’t I just re-post the meat of it here in this thread, because it totally destroys any argument in favor of how this judge ruled today. Either she has an axe to grind or she is completely incompetent. There are no other options here. It is that clear-cut.

OK, I looked into the rules of the Senate and the Open Meetings law (which some previous commenters have touched on), and here is a link with all the relevant rules:
http://volokh.com/2011/03/10/wis-senate-clerk-only-notice-required-for-committee-meeting-was-posting-on-bulletin-board/

Here’s the Open Meetings Law itself:
http://www.wisfoic.org/an-openmeetingslaw.html

Basically, the Open Meetings Law has an exception for any legislative rules that conflict:

(2) No provision of this subchapter which conflicts with a rule of the senate or assembly or joint rule of the legislature shall apply to a meeting conducted in compliance with such rule.

Then the Senate and Assembly both have rules for a special session saying simply:

Senate Rule 93 (2)
(2) A notice of a committee meeting is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and a bulletin of committee hearings may not be published.

As such, there is not even a 2 hr. minimum requirement notice called for by the Open Meetings law (in cases where the normal 24 hours is not possible or practical). The legislature is specifically exempted from that part of the Open Meetings law by the Open Meetings law itself!

Even so, the Republicans waited for 2 hrs. after the posting on the legislative bulletin board just for good measure, so it even meets the requirements of the Open Meetings law even if the legislature wasn’t exempted.

It is clear as day after a brief review of the governing laws and rules that appropriate procedure was followed. There is absolutely no basis to in any way justify what this rogue judge is doing.

willamettevalley on May 26, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Hmmm, is it time to defund the courts?

sadatoni on May 26, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Probably can’t do that, but they can defund the agency that collect PEU dues and not provide for any enforcement of labor laws.

Kafir on May 26, 2011 at 5:16 PM

If we defund the courts they’ll probably go completely Alcee Hastings on us and judges’ ads will crowd out the ambulance chaser ads during Jerry Springer and The View.

Have you gotten your verdict yet? 1-800-BUY-ROBE.

viking01 on May 26, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Wisconsin open for business, Illinois not so much.

Schadenfreude on May 26, 2011 at 1:08 PM

- Seven-hundred ninety jobs created or retained.

- An average wage for those jobs of $15.55 (to die for!).

- Six companies started or recruited to the county.

Those companies included Seda International Packaging Group, with 189 future jobs promised; DeltaHawk Engines, with 25 jobs created (Wow!!!) and 100 more expected; Shurpac, with 120 jobs created or retained; and Summit Packaging, 75 jobs created or retained.

“created or retained”

Hmmm, I’ve heard stuff like that before, but, I, just, can’t, quite, place, it…?

Sorry-I’m not buying into my party’s BS any more than the ‘tards. BS is BS.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 26, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Tyranny

wheelgun on May 26, 2011 at 11:37 PM

Anybody who thinks Judge Maryann Sumi is impartial is delusional.

Slowburn on May 27, 2011 at 12:50 AM

Keeping Prosser off the court for this oncoming freight train was preciselythe Klovenhoofer strategy all along. She is being sacrificed on the Demonrat altar of Entitlement, and has the exact facial expression OF a sacrifice every time I see her.

PJ Emeritus on May 27, 2011 at 8:07 AM

I don’t know whether it can be done in Wisconsin, but most states have a method of removing judges for cause – impeachment, recall, etc. With the large majority in their house and senate, they might be able to remove her from office. This judge is obviously legislating from the bench and engaging in partisan politics from the bench.

Old Country Boy on May 27, 2011 at 9:38 AM

WTF?? all laws should be passed in secret closed door session, PERIOD! Who do those people think they are questioning their politicians??? Politicians ESPECIALLY republicans are known for being honest upright citizens who never break the law, or cheat on their wives, or try to pick up young page boys in the senate or airport bathrooms. That’s why anything they do is above reproach. only Judges can’t be trusted, everyone knows that having to clearly state what your ruling means and what it is based on is the clearest abuse of power known to man. Hell we don’t need judges anyway, we’ll just have legislatures vote on every trial. That’s way way better than stupid juries. Least gather in a mob and burn down the court houses!! MOB RULE FOREVER!!! (possible sarcasm may have leaked in here)

Zekecorlain on May 27, 2011 at 2:20 PM

but if they want to do that, they should do it quickly before schools let out and teachers have a lot of free time on their hands.

Oh please. The WI teachers MADE plenty of time before while screwing the kids in the process, what changed?

BKennedy on May 27, 2011 at 6:29 PM

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