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Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Scott Walker's anti-union and voter ID measures

Scott Walker has won for now with a state Supreme Court ruling upholding his anti-union and voter ID laws.
Scott Walker has won for now with a state Supreme Court ruling upholding his anti-union and voter ID laws.
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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) scored a temporary victory on Thursday with a Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruling upholding two integral components of his conservative political platform: 1) Walker's anti public union policies barring public employees, including teachers, from mobilizing and engaging in collective bargaining and strikes and pickets and 2) Walker's requirements that all voters bring their identification (ID) to the polls in order to vote, according to Al Jazeera America on Thursday.

The anti-union ruling upheld the Wisconsin state law prohibiting public employees' rights to fair assembly and to equal protection under the law. The Wisconsin high court ruling essentially stated that Walker's anti-union laws do not violate either the right to free speech or the right to equal protection under the law for teachers and other public sector employees. Federal courts also have ruled that although public employees have been granted the right to free speech and association under the First Amendment, that they have not been extended the right to collective bargaining under said amendment. The most recent such federal ruling was made by Judge William Conley last September.

The Wisconsin high court's ruling also pertained to state laws advocated by Walker mandating that union dues among public employees be voluntary and that unions be required to be certified annually. The judge's ruling is being appealed.

To date four lawsuits have been filed regarding Wisconsin's 2011 law requiring voters to bring their ID's to the polls when they vote. The League of Women Voters, the NAACP of Milwaukee and the immigrant advocacy group Voces de la Frontera also have filed suits challenging the Wisconsin voter ID laws.

Scott Walker has not had an easy tenure as Governor of Wisconsin thus far. He has been the subject of mass picketing by public employees, as well as stringent media scrutiny. At one time he was considered a viable potential Republican Presidential candidate. However, after over two years of being a high profile target of public labor unions, Progressives and voter advocacy groups, Walker has lost almost all of his viability as a Presidential candidate in 2016 and perhaps 2020 and thereafter.

Most likely the Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling will be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The outcome of that decision, should the nation's highest court agree to hear the case, remains to be seen.

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