Apr 03, 2013 6:57 PM GMT
Remember Big Labor's throw-down last year over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's public-sector union reforms? The fight ended with a squeak yesterday as conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack handily defeated union-backed candidate and Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone, with some 57% of the vote.
The vote means conservatives retain 4-3 control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The next two justices up for reelection on the court will be from its liberal wing, which means that after yesterday's win conservatives are likely to maintain or extend their majority for years to come. That's a blow to unions who were hoping that they could secure a liberal majority that would be more receptive to an upcoming appeal of a Dane County case charging Mr. Walker's union reforms are unconstitutional because they exempted police and firefighters.
The election also shows that Mr. Walker's union reforms have had significant political consequences for the left. During a similar state Supreme Court battle last year between conservative incumbent David Prosser and liberal challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, local and national unions poured buckets of money into the fight for control of the court and lost. With their ammo spent, Mr. Fallone's campaign got only a fraction of the support.