Law & Courts

The Bills Are Law, but the Fight Goes On in Ohio, Wisconsin

By Sean Cavanagh — April 07, 2011 1 min read
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Measures to cut back teachers’ collective bargaining rights, which ignited big-time protests and legislative gamesmanship in Ohio and Wisconsin, made it into law. But did we really think that was the end of the story?

As I explained in a story today, labor groups and others in Ohio are collecting signatures in an effort to get a measure on the ballot to overturn the law, which was backed by Republicans, including Gov. John Kasich.

And battles have broken out on multiple fronts in Wisconsin, where a court challenge is holding up implemention of that state’s law, whose architect was Gov. Scott Walker. One of those fights centers on what would, in any other year, surely be an obscure election for a seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, which is being cast as a referendum on Walker’s leadership, and on the bargaining law.

The challenger in that race, who is backed by liberals, JoAnne Kloppenburg, was beaten badly in an earlier primary by the incumbent, and the favorite of conservatives, Justice David Prosser. But in this week’s general election, Kloppenburg appears to hold a narrow lead, though it’s too close to call. Looks like we’re headed toward a recount.

Both Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile, are threatening to arrange recall elections targeting various lawmakers who took positions they didn’t like during the collective bargaining fight.

I’ll pose this question to state and local officials who’ve witnessed or taking part in gladitorial legal and ballot fights over school policy: Will Ohio and Wisconsin’s laws hold up?

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.