Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has already proven he doesn’t care about the will of his constituents. Now, he thinks he’s above the law.
In a late Friday move–so as to get little media attention–Walker defied a court ruling and published the bill killing collective bargaining rights for the public employees. A judge had issued a restraining order on the law, passed by state Assembly and Senate in a set of dirty-trick moves. The restraining order barred its publication, but apparently the rule of law doesn’t apply to Walker.
The Wisconsin Law Journal reports that the Republican state senate leadership sees publication of the bill as enacting the law–in short, bypassing due process in the court system.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who said he went to the Reference Bureau with the idea, wasted no time in saying that the law’s online publication meant it would take effect Saturday. His brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, agreed, according to a spokesman.
“It’s my opinion it’s published, it’s on the legislative website, it’s law,” Scott Fitzgerald said. “It was clear to me after our discussions this morning, if it in fact it is posted and it says published and there’s a specific date on it, it would be very hard to argue this was not law.”
Not so, says Dane County Circuit Judge Sarah O’Brien, who
refused to take up a request for emergency action made late Friday by the Democratic district attorney, Ismael Ozanne, saying there was no “critical urgency” in her addressing the posting because the temporary restraining order preserves the status quo. She said she didn’t know what effect the online posting had, and that the issue could wait until a previously scheduled hearing Tuesday in one of the lawsuits challenging the law’s legitimacy.
With residents now calling their state ”FitzWalkerstan” because of the Fitzgeralds’ close ties to Walker, seems to show again how dictatorships often start with Troikas.