By TODD RICHMOND
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The unions that won a ruling striking down Wisconsin’s right-to-work law are looking for a judge to clearly declare the law unconstitutional.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO, Machinists Local Lodge 1016 and United Steelworkers District 2 filed a proposed final order Tuesday with Dane County William Foust. The three-paragraph order would declare that the right-to-work law is unconstitutional and as such null and void. The order would enjoin the state from enforcing it against any employers or unions across Wisconsin.
Right-to-work laws prohibit businesses and unions from reaching agreements that require all workers, not just union members, to pay union dues. Twenty-five other states have such laws. Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed Wisconsin’s version of the law early last year and played it up during his brief bid for the GOP presidential nomination last summer.
The three unions immediate filed a lawsuit alleging the law amounts to an unconstitutional taking of their services since the law means they would have to represent non-union workers who don’t have to pay dues. Foust agreed with them, ruling Friday that the law is unconstitutional.
The state Department of Justice, led by Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel, plans to appeal. Agency attorneys will start that process by asking for a stay of Foust’s decision as soon as the judge approves a final order formalizing his ruling. A stay would ensure the law remains in place and in effect until an appeal is settled.
Schimel said Monday as things stand now it’s unclear whether the ruling applies to all unions or just the three that challenged the law. The three unions’ attorney, Fred Perillo, has said if the law is unconstitutional for someone it’s unconstitutional for everyone.
DOJ attorneys filed a response to the unions’ proposed order late Wednesday afternoon, arguing that the unions can’t request an injunction without briefing their position. They also argued the unions can’t ask for the entire law to be declared unconstitutional since they’ve only challenged provisions prohibiting union due payments as a condition of employment.
It’s unclear when Foust might issue the official final order.