Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 26, 2013, 2:54 p.m. EST by GirlFriday
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"The commissioners knew full well" they were flouting the court, Colas said, despite their cute argument that the word "unconstitutional" applied only to the specific plaintiffs in the case -- teachers in Madison and city workers in Milwaukee.
As John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., put it, Colas' decision "is one of the most important decisions not only in public-sector labor history, but also in democracy."
The principle here is simple. If a law is unconstitutional on its face, it's unconstitutional in every case. That has always been understood in Wisconsin courts. And, Judge Colas pointed out, the Walker officials understood it, too.
...By ignoring the courts, impugning judges' integrity and spreading the idea that individual judges' decisions don't carry any weight, the Walker administration has challenged the integrity of the legal system itself.
That's the path to the right-wing billionaires' dream of making Wisconsin a "right to work" state. Unions are so disenfranchised that workers decide it's not worth paying dues. Citizens are so cynical and intimidated they give up on the rule of law.
Part of the program is the "propaganda campaign to convince people that judges' decisions have no meaning," Pines says. "It's shocking to me that lawyers are not talking about this."
It's a glimmer, he says, of what it's like to live in an authoritarian regime.
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