The Wisconsin law banning collecting bargaining has been struck down by a judge. County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said that lawmakers violated Wisconsin's open meetings law during the passage, rendering it void. The bill by Governor Scott Walker to ban all collective bargaining led to one of the biggest outcries from state — and national — Democrats in recent memory (proving that we can still get pissed off about things).
The fight isn't over. The State Supreme Court will take up the issue next week. And, technically, Wisconsin's Republicans could simply pass the bill again, since the judge's verdict has to do with how the bill was passed, not its content. And yet, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Since the 2010 midterms, when Republicans came charging back to into power, a number of GOP initiatives have backfired. The attack on collective-bargaining in Wisconsin (which, at one point, had potential to become a nationwide GOP platform) was quickly shelved. And the New York Times is reporting today that similar backtracking is taking place on the budget front. Paul Ryan's big "Cut Medicare / Cut the Deficit" budget felt like a rallying cry six weeks ago. Now, just yesterday, it failed to pass in the Senate, and faces criticism, not just from Democrats but from several key Republicans.
The message seems pretty clear: you can get elected by talking balancing the budget and shrinking the unions, but people still get really mad when you try to take away their rights to stuff like raises and healthcare.