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Wis. Supreme Court upholds controversial union law

By Scott Bauer

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, June 15 2011 1:16 a.m. MDT

More protesters than usual gathered in the Rotunda for the Solidarity Sing-Along at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, June 14, 2011.

Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King, Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin's polarizing union rights law will take effect thanks to a divided ruling by the state Supreme Court.

The court ruled 4-3 that a judge overstepped her authority when she voided the Republican governor's plan to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights.

The ruling Tuesday evening was a major victory for Gov. Scott Walker. He said the law was needed to help address the state's $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

His proposal thrust Wisconsin to the forefront of a national debate over labor rights.

Walker claimed the law would give local governments enough flexibility on labor costs to deal with deep cuts to state aid. Democrats saw it as an attack on public employee unions, which usually back their party's candidates.

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