Sections of the 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 that restrict collective bargaining rights of municipal employees and impose burdensome requirements on unions, are unconstitutional in that they violate free speech and freedom of association. Madison Teachers, Inc. and the Public Employees Local 61 sued Governor Scott Walker and three commissioners of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission claiming several sections of the 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 were unconstitutional. When the government confers a benefit, such as the right to collectively bargain to municipal employees, it cannot make it a condition that a person surrender or restrict their constitutional rights in order to receive that benefit. The Court found that the state of Wisconsin, in enacting those sections of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, imposed burdensome and significant restrictions on employees who chose to join a union thereby violating their constitutional rights to free speech and association.
See Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Scott Walker, No. 11CV3774, 2012 WL 4041495, (Wis. Cir. September 14, 2012); see also Lawson v. Hous. Auth. of City of Milwaukee, 270 Wis. 269, 278, 70 N.W.2d 605, 610 (1955); Andrew Harris & Esme E. Duprez, Wisconsin Law Limited Public Worker Unions Struck Down, Bloomburg.com, Sept. 12, 2012, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-14/wisconsin-law-limiting-public-worker-unions-struck-down.html; Sean Sullivan, Wis. Judge Strikes Down Law Curbing Collective Bargaining for Public Workers, The Fix (Sept. 14, 2012, 7:36 PM), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/09/14/wis-judge-strikes-down-law-curbing-collective-bargaining-for-public-workers/
(Development authored by Emily Pantoja)