Despite a victory in court last week, the chances of a decision striking down Wisconsin’s right-to-work law may be quite unlikely.
A Dane County judge on Friday struck down the law passed by the Republican Legislature last year, which prohibits private sector employers from making union membership a condition of employment. The court sided with union arguments that the law amounts to an unconstitutional taking of property, since they are required to still represent workers who are not paying dues.
University of Wisconsin Madison history professor William Jones said such arguments have initially seen success in other states, although they have ultimately fallen short when the case has been appealed. He pointed to the most recent challenge of Indiana’s right-to-work law, which was struck down, but then eventually upheld by that state’s Supreme Court.
During a stop in Madison on Monday, both Attorney General Brad Schimel and Governor Scott Walker expressed confidence that the state would succeed in appealing the decision. Walker noted Wisconsin is one of 26 states with a law in place. “We feel confident based upon that and our legal arguments here in the state that it will ultimately be upheld.”
Schimel said he anticipates filing an appeal in the case, once the judge’s order is finalized. He could also request a stay of the decision, something Walker said he thinks would be “good for workers.”