Judge blocks contentious Wisconsin union law

March 18, 2011

The Associated Press

Getty/Scott Olson
Thousands of demonstrators protest outside the Wisconsin State Capitol March 12, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin

A Wisconsin judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state's new and contentious collective bargaining law from taking effect.

Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi issued the order Friday to temporarily block the law as Dane Country's District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, had requested.

Ozanne filed a lawsuit contending that a legislative committee that broke a stalemate that had kept the law in limbo for weeks met without the 24-hour notice required by Wisconsin's open meetings law. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure and Gov. Scott Walker signed it last week. The law could not have taken effect until it was formally published, and Democratic secretary of state Doug La Follette had planned to wait the full 10 days allowed, until March 25.

A spokesman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald declined to comment, citing the legal fight. Messages left for comment with Walker's spokesmen, as well as Democratic legislative leaders, were not immediately returned.