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Appeals court asks for legal briefs in budget repair bill lawsuit


MADISON (WSAU) Dane County’s chief prosecutor has been ordered to tell three appeals’ judges today why the state’s new limits on public union bargaining should continue to be held up.

District attorney Ismael Ozanne will respond to the state Justice Department’s claim that a judge had no right to block the law before it could take effect. Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order last Friday which blocked the collective bargaining limits until she could decide if a legislative committee broke the state’s Open Meeting Law in passing them. Ozanne filed the original complaint of the meeting law violation, and Judge Sumi will hold a hearing on that complaint next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Yesterday, the Justice Department asked the appeals court for permission to challenge the restraining order. Among other things, the appeal cited a Supreme Court decision from 1943 which prohibits the courts from barring the publication of a law passed by the Legislature. The union bargaining limits cannot take effect until the actual law – as signed by the governor – is published in the Wisconsin State Journal. Secretary-of-State Doug La Follette was planning to do that on Friday, but Judge Sumi’s order stopped him from doing that.