Peter Barca
Press Release

Statement from Rep. Barca on appeals court’s Act 10 ruling today

Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released the following statement today regarding the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling on Act 10.

By - Jan 18th, 2013 03:38 pm

MADISON – Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released the following statement today regarding the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling on Act 10:

“While the Seventh Circuit Court upheld Act 10 on narrow legal grounds, the court did acknowledge that Act 10 appears to be an act of favoritism for ‘friends’ and punishing enemies. While that approach may be legal, the Judge David Hamilton notes that ‘the United States Constitution does not forbid all legislation that rewards friends and punishes opponents.’

“Given the recent focus on bipartisanship, now would be a good opportunity to move away from positions the court acknowledges are likely favoritism and punishment. We must find real solutions the Wisconsin way of sitting down together and rolling up our sleeves to tackle problems with all stakeholders to repair some of the damage that has been done by this law. We are not a state that should have laws in place to settle partisan vendettas.”

From the decision written by Judge Flaum:

“As unfortunate as it may be, political favoritism is a frequent aspect of legislative action.”

“Hearne v. Board of Education, 185 F.3d 770, 775 (7th Cir. 1999).

The court said, “there is no rule whereby legislation that otherwise passes the proper level of scrutiny . . . becomes constitutionally defective because one of the reasons the legislators voted for it was to punish those who opposed them during an election campaign.” Id. at 775. We went further stating,“[i]ndeed one might think that this is what election campaigns are all about: candidates run a certain platform, political promises made in the campaign are kept (sometimes), and the winners get to write the laws.”

From the dissent written by Judge Hamilton:

 “The United States Constitution does not forbid all legislation that rewards friends and punishes opponents. The principal provisions of Wisconsin’s Act 10 may fit that description, but they are still constitutional under the generous standard of rational-basis review.”

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