Wisconsin's Act 10 is back in court Monday, this time in a federal appeals courtroom. Oral arguments there will focus on parts of the collective bargaining law that made it harder for unions to organize.
The federal ruling lawyers will argue Monday in the Chicago 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was handed down in March by U.S. Judge William Connely of the Western District of Wisconsin. Connnely's decision found two pieces of the collective bargaining law unconstitutional. One requires unions to hold annual votes just to remain certified. That provision required unions to get over half of all members to sign, not just half of those voting. The second banned unions from deducting voluntary member dues from employees’ paychecks.
Connely called the provisions "onerous" and "irrational" saying the state offered no reason for why it added this extra burden to union employees. Connely's ruling was much narrower than the one that's been in the news lately. That decision, handed down earlier this month in Dane County Circuit Court by Judge Juan Colas, overturned major pieces of Act 10.
Colas said the law was an unconstitutional violation of union workers rights to association and equal protection. The state has asked Colas to "stay" his ruling. Briefs are due in that case later this week.
There is yet another case challenging the collective bargaining law on similar grounds in federal court. Both sides are waiting on a ruling in that case.