State prohibited from enforcing right-to-work law

Judge willing to hear arguments on staying ruling pending appeal

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Dane County Judge William Foust on Friday issued a final ruling declaring Wisconsin’s right-to-work law amounted to an unconstitutional taking of private property and prohibited the state from enforcing it.justice-shutterstock_140867215

Foust did not stay his order pending an appeal, but did say in a separate memo that he would “be glad to hear both sides’ arguments regarding a stay if and when a motion seeking a stay is filed.”

“Until then, I have granted Motion for Summary Judgment and now is the time to enter a final order,” he wrote.

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Foust ruled on April 8 that the law was unconstitutional and then asked the three unions challenging the law to submit a proposed order earlier this week. Attorney General Brad Schimel then objected to the proposal on a number of grounds.

In a memo explaining his final order, Foust dismissed Schimel’s arguments, saying his April 8 ruling addressed many of the issues.

“It’s another very well-reasoned opinion by Judge Foust,” said Fred Perillo, a partner with The Previant Law Firm who represented the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers District 2 and International Association of Machinists District 10 Lodge 1061 in the case. “It relies on very traditional principles of Wisconsin law and we’re pleased with the outcome.”

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Schimel plans to seek a stay of the ruling with Judge Foust on Monday and has already pledged to appeal the decision.

“We wholeheartedly disagree with Judge Foust’s decision and final order,” Schimel said. “We will seek a stay and immediately appeal the decision. I am confident the law ultimately will be upheld and Wisconsin will remain a Right-to-Work state.”

Business leaders told BizTimes this week the ruling may create some short-term uncertainty, but many feel the state Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a 5-2 majority, will ultimately uphold the law.

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