The vote, by the way, was 4-3, with Prosser in the majority. Although as I recall, even had he lost to Kloppenburg, his term wouldn’t have ended yet by the time of this decision.
The court found a committee of lawmakers was not subject to the state’s open meetings law, and so did not violate that law when they hastily approved the measure and made it possible for the Senate to take it up. In doing so, the Supreme Court overruled a Dane County judge who had struck down the legislation, ending one challenge to the law even as new challenges are likely to emerge.
The majority opinion was by Justices Michael Gableman, David Prosser, Patience Roggensack and Annette Ziegler. The other three justices – Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and N. Patrick Crooks – concurred in part and dissented in part…
Legislative leaders had said they would have inserted the limits on collective bargaining into the state budget late Tuesday if the court hadn’t acted by then. But the high court ruled just before that budget debate was to begin…
In its decision, the state’s high court concluded that “choices about what laws represent wise public policy for the state of Wisconsin are not within the constitutional purview of the courts.”
Remember, the objection here was procedural, that the Republican majority in the senate didn’t provide enough notice to the Democrats before bringing the CB bill to the floor and passing it. They could have cured the error by re-passing the bill with proper notice, but obviously they wanted to avoid that lest it jumpstart a new round of protests.
¶13 It also is argued that the Act is invalid because the legislature did not follow certain notice provisions of the Open Meetings Law for the March 9, 2011 meeting of the joint committee on conference. It is argued that Wis. Stat. § 19.84(3) required 24 hours notice of that meeting and such notice was not given. It is undisputed that the legislature posted notices of the March 9, 2011 meeting of the joint committee on conference on three bulletin boards, approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes before the start of the meeting. In the posting of notice that was done, the legislature relied on its interpretation of its own rules of proceeding. The court declines to review the validity of the procedure used to give notice of the joint committee on conference. See Stitt, 114 Wis. 2d at 361. As the court has explained when legislation was challenged based on allegations that the legislature did not follow the relevant procedural statutes, “this court will not determine whether internal operating rules or procedural statutes have been complied with by the legislature in the course of its enactments.” Id. at 364. “[W]e will not intermeddle in what we view, in the absence of constitutional directives to the contrary, to be purely legislative concerns.” Id. The court’s holding in Stitt was grounded in separation of powers principles, comity concepts and “the need for finality and certainty regarding the status of a statute.” Id. at 364-65.
This news leaves me no choice but to unleash the ‘bot. Exit question: How will this affect the recall elections looming next month? Under normal circumstances, I’d say having the GOP re-pass the bill probably would have riled up the lefty base more than a court decision, but in light of the sturm und drang over the Prosser/Kloppenburg race, I wonder if his deciding vote here won’t animate them even more. (The donations in the recall efforts are already “ungodly” in their magnitude.) Ah well, let’s not obsess right now. Let’s dance.