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Wis. DOJ asks court to lift ban on union law

•  Law Center     updated  2011/05/30 13:01

State attorneys asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday to immediately vacate a Madison judge's decision striking down Republican Gov. Scott Walker's contentious collective bargaining law.

Judge Maryann Sumi invalidated the law on Thursday after finding Republican legislators violated Wisconsin's open records law during the run-up to passage in March. The decision came in a lawsuit Democratic Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed challenging the law.

The state Justice Department is representing the Republicans. The agency's attorneys asked the state Supreme Court to take the case and the court set oral arguments on whether it should make a move for June 6. Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John said in a letter to the justices late Friday they need to act now.

St. John said the issues have been fully briefed so the court can immediately vacate Sumi's decision without hearing any further argument.

He argued Sumi issued the decision on her own, even though no one involved in the case had asked for such a ruling. She didn't give any of the parties a chance to be heard on the final disposition.

He also reiterated the Justice Department's argument that the Republicans can't be sued because they enjoy legislative immunity and Sumi can't invalidate the law due to an open meetings violation.

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