Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, No. 2012AP2067.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtMICHAEL J. GABLEMAN
Citation851 N.W.2d 337,2014 WI 99
PartiesMADISON TEACHERS, INC., Peggy Coyne, Public Employees Local 61, AFL–CIO and John Weigman, Plaintiffs–Respondents, v. Scott WALKER, James R. Scott, Judith Neumann and Rodney G. Pasch, Defendants–Appellants.
Docket NumberNo. 2012AP2067.
Decision Date31 July 2014

851 N.W.2d 337
2014 WI 99

MADISON TEACHERS, INC., Peggy Coyne, Public Employees Local 61, AFL–CIO and John Weigman, Plaintiffs–Respondents,
v.
Scott WALKER, James R. Scott, Judith Neumann and Rodney G. Pasch, Defendants–Appellants.

No. 2012AP2067.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Argued Nov. 11, 2013.
Decided July 31, 2014.


[851 N.W.2d 345]


For the defendants-appellants, there were briefs by J.B. Van Hollen, attorney general, and Kevin St. John, deputy attorney general, Steven P. Means, executive assistant attorney general, and Steven C. Kilpatrick, assistant attorney general.
Oral argument by J.B. Van Hollen and Kevin St. John.

For the plaintiff-respondents, there was a brief by Lester A. Pines, Lee Cullen, Tamara B. Packard, Susan M. Crawford, and Cullen Weston Pines & Bach LLP, Madison; and M. Nicol Padway, Aaron A. DeKosky, and Padway & Padway, Ltd., Milwaukee; and oral argument by Lester A. Pines, Tamara B. Packard, and M. Nicol Padway.


An amicus curiae brief was filed by Michael P. May, city attorney, and John W. Strange, assistant city attorney, on behalf of the City of Madison.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Bruce F. Ehlke, Katy Lounsbury, and Ehlke, Bero–Lehmann & Lounsbury, S.C., Madison, on behalf of Laborers Local 236 and AFSCME Local 60.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Grant F. Langley, city attorney, Rudolph M. Konrad, deputy city attorney, Stuart S. Mukamal, assistant city attorney, and Donald L. Schriefer, assistant city attorney, on behalf of the City of Milwaukee.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Milton L. Chappell, Nathan J. McGrath, and National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc., Springfield, VA; and Richard M. Esenberg, Thomas C. Kamenick, Brian McGrath, and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Milwaukee; and Bruce N. Cameron, Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, VA; on behalf of Elijah Grajkowski, Kristi Lacroix, and Nathan Berish.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Timothy E. Hawks and Hawks Quindel, S.C., Milwaukee; and Marianne Goldstein Robbins and The Previant Law Firm S.C., Milwaukee; and Stephen Pieroni, Madison; and Peggy A. Lautenschlager and Bauer & Bach, LLC, Madison; and Aaron N. Halstead and Hawks Quindel, S.C., Madison; and Barbara Zack Quindel and Hawks Quindel, Milwaukee; and Jeffrey Sweetland and Hawks Quindel, S.C., Milwaukee; and Mark A. Sweet and Sweet and Associates, LLC, Milwaukee; on behalf of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, AFSCME District Councils 24, 40, and 48, AFT–Wisconsin, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, and State of Wisconsin AFL–CIO.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Andrew T. Phillips, Daniel J. Borowski,

[851 N.W.2d 346]

Jacob J. Curtis, and Phillips Borowski S.C., Mequon, on behalf of Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Corporation and Community Insurance Corporation.

ON CERTIFICATION FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS

MICHAEL J. GABLEMAN, J.

¶ 1 In March 2011, the Wisconsin Legislature passed Act 10,1 a budget repair bill proposed by Governor Scott Walker. Act 10 significantly altered Wisconsin's public employee labor laws. Act 10 prohibits general employees from collectively bargaining on issues other than base wages, prohibits municipal employers from deducting labor organization dues from paychecks of general employees, imposes annual recertification requirements, and prohibits fair share agreements requiring non-represented general employees to make contributions to labor organizations.

¶ 2 In August 2011, Madison Teachers, Inc. and Public Employees Local 61 sued Governor Walker and the three commissioners of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission challenging several provisions of Act 10. The plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that four aspects of Act 10—the collective bargaining limitations, the prohibition on payroll deductions of labor organization dues, the prohibition of fair share agreements, and the annual recertification requirements—violate the constitutional associational and equal protection rights of the employees they represent. The plaintiffs also challenged Wis. Stat. § 62.623 (2011–12),2 a separate provision created by Act 10, which prohibits the City of Milwaukee from paying the employee share of contributions to the City of Milwaukee Employes' 3 Retirement System, alleging it violates the home rule amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution. The plaintiffs argued, in the alternative, that if Wis. Stat. § 62.623 does not violate the home rule amendment, it nevertheless violates the constitutionally protected right of parties to contract with each other.

¶ 3 The Dane County Circuit Court, Judge Juan B. Colas, presiding, invalidated several provisions of Act 10, including the provisions relating to collective bargaining limitations, union recertifications, and the prohibitions on fair share agreements and payroll deductions of labor organization dues. The court of appeals certified the case to this court, pursuant to

[851 N.W.2d 347]

Wis. Stat. § 809.61. We now uphold Act 10 in its entirety.

I. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 4 Plaintiff–Respondents are Madison Teachers, Inc. (“MTI”), Public Employees Local 61 (“Local 61”), and their respective representatives, Peggy Coyne and John Weigman. MTI is a labor organization representing over 4,000 municipal employees of the Madison Metropolitan School District. Local 61 is a labor organization representing approximately 300 City of Milwaukee employees. 4

¶ 5 The Defendant–Appellants are Governor Walker and the three commissioners of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (“WERC”), James R. Scott, Judith Neumann, and Rodney G. Pasch (collectively, “the defendants”). Governor Walker and the commissioners of WERC are sued in their official capacities. Governor Walker has responsibility under Wisconsin law to implement and enforce state legislation through the agencies of the State's executive branch. The commissioners of WERC are responsible for administering Wisconsin's labor laws.

¶ 6 Wisconsin has two principal labor laws, the Municipal Employment Relations Act (“MERA”), Wis. Stat. § 111.70 et seq., and the State Employee Labor Relations Act (“SELRA”), Wis. Stat. § 111.80 et seq., which govern employment relations and collective bargaining for public employees and labor organizations.

¶ 7 In 2011, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, a budget repair bill proposed by Governor Walker. Act 10, among other things, modified MERA to prohibit general employees from collective bargaining on issues other than “base wages,” prohibited fair share agreements, imposed annual recertification requirements, and prohibited municipal employers from deducting labor organization dues from the paychecks of general employees.5

¶ 8 MTI and Local 61 (together with the individual plaintiffs, “the plaintiffs”) filed the instant action in Dane County Circuit Court in August 2011 seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that certain portions of Act 10 violated the Wisconsin Constitution.

¶ 9 In November 2011, the plaintiffs sought summary judgment on the following claims: (1) that Act 10 violates the plaintiffs' right to free association guaranteed by Article I, Sections 3 and 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution through the combined effect of (a) prohibiting general

[851 N.W.2d 348]

employees from collective bargaining on issues other than “base wages,” and requiring any base wage increase exceeding a cost of living adjustment to be approved by a municipal voter referendum, (b) prohibiting municipal employers from deducting labor organization dues from the paychecks of general employees, (c) prohibiting fair share agreements,6 and (d) requiring mandatory recertification elections; (2) that Act 10 violates the plaintiffs' right to equal protection of the laws guaranteed by Article I, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution by impermissibly creating classifications that disadvantage represented general employees based on the exercise of their rights to associate; (3) that certain provisions of Act 10 were enacted in a manner that violated Article VI, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution, which governs special sessions of the legislature, by not being related to the stated purpose of the special session; (4) that Act 10 violates the home rule amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution by mandating that City of Milwaukee employees make certain contributions to the City of Milwaukee Employes' Retirement System (“Milwaukee ERS”) and, in doing so, interfering with the City of Milwaukee's home-rule authority; (5) that Act 10 violates the Contract Clauses of the United States and Wisconsin Constitutions by unconstitutionally impairing Local 61's vested contractual right to the City of Milwaukee funding the employee share of contributions to the Milwaukee ERS; and (6) that Act 10 violates due process by shifting the responsibility for pension contributions from the City of Milwaukee to members of Local 61, which is a deprivation of property without due process of law.

¶ 10 In January 2012, the defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing the circuit court should deny the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and dismiss the suit with prejudice. On September 14, 2012, the circuit court issued a decision and order that denied the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings and granted partial summary judgment to the plaintiffs. The circuit court held that Act 10 violated: (1) the plaintiffs' rights of association, free speech, and equal protection under both the United States and Wisconsin Constitutions; (2) the home rule amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution; and (3) the Contract Clause of the Wisconsin Constitution. Further, the circuit court held that Act 10 did not violate the special session limiting clause of the Wisconsin Constitution or the constitutional prohibition against taking a property interest without due process of law. Accordingly, the circuit court concluded...

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37 practice notes
  • Black v. City of Milwaukee, No. 2014AP400.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • June 23, 2016
    ...with greater autonomy over local affairs,” while still retaining the Legislature's power to legislate. Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 89, 358 Wis.2d 1, 851 N.W.2d 337 (footnotes omitted). Accordingly, the home rule amendment gives cities and villages the ability “to determi......
  • Milwaukee Branch Naacp v. Walker, No. 2012AP1652.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 31, 2014
    ...N.W.2d 302. Such “policy determinations ... are not properly addressed to the members of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.” MTI v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 181, ––– Wis.2d ––––, 851 N.W.2d 337 (Crooks, J., concurring). ¶ 9 Instead, we apply judicial restraint and constitutional principles to the......
  • Voters With Facts v. City of Eau Claire, Case No.: 2015AP1858
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 6, 2018
    ...759. The interpretation of a constitutional provision is also a question of law that we review de novo. Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 13, 358 Wis. 2d 1, 851 N.W.2d 337.382 Wis.2d 44¶ 59 Plaintiffs argue that the TIDs violate the Uniformity Clause because "the owner is......
  • Milwaukee Police Ass'n v. City of Milwaukee, No. 2015AP2375
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 6, 2018
    ...home rule powers, certain aspects of the ERS continued to be matters of statewide concern. See e.g., Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 95, 358 Wis. 2d 1, 851 N.W.2d 337 (concluding that Wis. Stat. § 62.623 (2011–12), which prohibited the City from paying employees' shares of E......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • Black v. City of Milwaukee, No. 2014AP400.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • June 23, 2016
    ...with greater autonomy over local affairs,” while still retaining the Legislature's power to legislate. Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 89, 358 Wis.2d 1, 851 N.W.2d 337 (footnotes omitted). Accordingly, the home rule amendment gives cities and villages the ability “to determi......
  • Milwaukee Branch Naacp v. Walker, No. 2012AP1652.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 31, 2014
    ...N.W.2d 302. Such “policy determinations ... are not properly addressed to the members of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.” MTI v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 181, ––– Wis.2d ––––, 851 N.W.2d 337 (Crooks, J., concurring). ¶ 9 Instead, we apply judicial restraint and constitutional principles to the......
  • Voters With Facts v. City of Eau Claire, Case No.: 2015AP1858
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 6, 2018
    ...759. The interpretation of a constitutional provision is also a question of law that we review de novo. Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 13, 358 Wis. 2d 1, 851 N.W.2d 337.382 Wis.2d 44¶ 59 Plaintiffs argue that the TIDs violate the Uniformity Clause because "the owner is payi......
  • Milwaukee Police Ass'n v. City of Milwaukee, No. 2015AP2375
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 6, 2018
    ...home rule powers, certain aspects of the ERS continued to be matters of statewide concern. See e.g., Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, 2014 WI 99, ¶ 95, 358 Wis. 2d 1, 851 N.W.2d 337 (concluding that Wis. Stat. § 62.623 (2011–12), which prohibited the City from paying employees' shares of E......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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