ON-Lion Letter

In March, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge David M. Bastianelli issued a ruling striking down the collective-bargaining agreements (CBAs) reached between the Kenosha Unified School District and three of its unions in November 2013.  Although the District had already conceded that the CBAs were void because they violated Wisconsin's Act 10, the unions continued to fight, arguing that they were entitled to rely on a decision by a Dane County judge declaring Act 10 unconstitutional, despite that decision being later reversed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Bastianelli disagreed with the unions, stating that he could find no case "supporting the proposition that a trial court's decision is precedential and has statewide effect."  He then cited numerous cases from Wisconsin and around the country holding that a trial court’s decision is binding only on the specific parties to that case.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) in Milwaukee and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) in Springfield, Va., represented both a Kenosha teacher and a Kenosha taxpayer in the case.

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation supports WILL and NRTWLDF.

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