MILWAUKEE -- After a Dane County judge ruled Friday parts of Wisconsin's Act 10 (the law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public unions) was unconstitutional, many are left wondering what awaits in terms of the future of Act 10 in Wisconsin. Most think the case is headed for the state Supreme Court -- which leads to other questions regarding the court's so-called political leanings.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Justice Geske believes the fate of Act 10 will be in the hands of the high court -- but not for a while.
""My guess is that it will bypass the court of appeals one way or another and get to the SC. I suspect, unless the court acts quickly like it did last time, it will take about a year. The question is this particular bill, does it discriminate and does it impact people that are covered by collective bargaining versus those that are not?" Justice Geske said on Tuesday.
Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled Friday Act 10 violates one's constitutional rights. Gov. Scott Walker disagrees and called the judge a liberal activist.
"It's unfortunate. What we ought to be discussing are the merits of the decision and how it has been analyzed rather than the character of these judges. There's nothing to show that these judges are not acting on good faith and finding consistent with their own research and decision making. Judge Colas is a very thoughtful judge and I wish people would attack the opinion, and tell us why they think the opinion is wrong," Justice Geske said.
Justice Geske says Judge Colas is bound by oath not to discuss the case while it is pending.
Despite heavy political posturing on both sides of Act 10, Justice Geske says she has faith the high court will focus only on the issue.
""I think it's become harder and harder for courts not to get caught up in the political winds. When you look at the cases before the court, whether it's collective bargaining, whether it's domestic partners, whether it's voter ID, there are lots of other cases. The court just needs to do what it needs to do -- remain independent, try to be consistent from its prior rulings to its future rulings and to judiciously look at the constitution and the statutes," Justice Geske said.