Wis. AG to High Court: Union Restrictions Legal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is telling the state Supreme Court that portions of Gov. Scott Walker's union restrictions are constitutional.

The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. A Madison judge ruled last year the provisions are unconstitutional as they apply to school and municipal employees.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on whether the ruling was proper. Van Hollen himself appeared before the court. He contended union members remain free to associate with one another and can ask their employers for benefits beyond what the restrictions allow.

Union attorney Lester Pines countered the restrictions are designed burden union members' right to associate until they quit the organizations. He says the state hasn't shown a compelling reason to impose such burdens.

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