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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wisconsin's Collective Bargaining and Voter ID Laws Upheld

Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state law passed in 2011that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public employees. The decision upheld the constitutionality of the law, finding collective bargaining to be a legislation creation that can be restricted or burdened, and not a constitutional right or obligation.  That decision rejected the arguments of the plaintiffs, a teachers union and a union representing public workers, that the law violated workers' constitutional rights to free assembly and equal protection.

You can read the collective bargaining case: Madison Teachers, Inc. et al. v. Scott Walker, et al.  

Also today, the Supreme Court also upheld Wisconsin's voter photo identification act, finding that "requiring an elector to present Act 23-acceptable photo identification in order to vote is not an additional elector qualification.....[and] the burdens of time and inconvenience associated with obtaining Act 23-acceptable photo identification are not undue burdens on the right to vote and do not render the law invalid." The Court cited to the United Stated Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008), that "the inconvenience of making a trip to [a state motor vehicle office], gathering the required documents, and posing for a photograph surely does not qualify as a substantial burden on the right to vote....Furthermore, photo identification is a condition of our times where more and more personal interactions are being modernized to require proof of identity with a specified type of photo identification.  With respect to these familiar burdens, which accompany many of our everyday tasks, we conclude that Act 23 does not constitute an undue burden on the right to vote."


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