Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's anti-union law that was signed into law in 2011 has been upheld by a federal appeals court. On Friday, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago found that the law is constitutional by a vote of 2-1 and rejected the claims of union members First Amendment right and equal protection were violated. This was a reversal of part of U.S. District Judge William Conley's March 2012 ruling.

Writing for the 7th Circuit majority was Circuit Judge Joel Flaum, who said that Judge Conley correctly upheld the statute's limit collective bargaining, but reversed his decision which banned automatic dues deductions and voided provisions that provided for annual union re-certification votes.

"As unfortunate as it may be, political favoritism is a frequent aspect of legislative action," he wrote.

The Associated Press reports,

Seven of Wisconsin's largest public-sector unions, including the Wisconsin Education Association Council, had sued to overturn the law, known as Act 10.

"Wisconsin educators are extremely disappointed with the appeals court ruling," the group's president Mary Bell said in a statement. She called the law "a ploy to eliminate workers' rights to have a voice through their union - political payback for citizens who didn't endorse the governor."

WEAC is reviewing the decision to determine its next steps, Bell said.

The law had been enacted by Wisconsin's Republican-led legislature as part of an effort to close a multibillion-dollar state budget deficit.

It barred public sector workers, known as "general employees," from collective bargaining on issues other than base wages, imposed tough recertification requirements and barred employers from automatically deducting union dues from paychecks.

Walker issued his own statement on Friday saying:

"As we've said all along, Act 10 is constitutional."

"Today’s court ruling is a victory for Wisconsin taxpayers," he continued. "The provisions contained in Act 10, which have been upheld in federal court, were vital in balancing Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion budget deficit without increasing taxes, without massive public employee layoffs, and without cuts to programs like Medicaid. With this ruling behind us, we can now focus on the next state budget, which will invest in priorities to move our state forward."

Yes, this the same governor that survived a recall election last June only to win by an even greater margin than before.

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