Prophecy, is what Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. called the law.On Tuesday, WisPolitics Budget Blog reported (my emphasis):
Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi issued an order this afternoon blocking further implementation of the collective bargaining bill.Today, that would be Thursday, the Journal Sentinel reports:
Sumi stopped short of signing off on a proposed declaration that publication by the Legislative Reference Bureau does not make the law take effect. But she made clear during her ruling that "further implementation of the act is enjoined."...
Sumi struck that portion of the order, saying that testimony on that issue has not concluded. The case is set to resume Friday.
Madison — A state law to sharply curb union bargaining by public employees is not in effect, a Dane County judge ruled Thursday,...
"Based on the briefs of counsel, the uncontroverted testimony, and the evidence received at the March 29, 2011, evidentiary hearing, it is hereby DECLARED that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published within the meaning of (state statutes), and is therefore not in effect," Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi ruled in a two-paragraph order.
So on Tuesday, sufficient testimony hadn't been reviewed to issue a ruling on whether or not Act 10 was law. That testimony was scheduled to resume on Friday. On Thursday, however, the very same testimony that had been in evidence on Tuesday was cited as the reason for declaring Act 10 "not in effect". Huh?
I would like nothing more than to give Judge Sumi the benefit of the doubt, but even the most generous interpretation of her actions make her look bad. What happened on Wednesday that allowed for this dramatic new ruling? Perhaps the judge was able to divine Friday's testimony and rule preemptively. On the other hand, perhaps the ruling was preordained and Tuesday's protestations about insufficient testimony were little more than a farce.
It seems easy for testimony to remain "uncontrovertd" if you just stop taking it, but hey, I'm not a lawyer.