Today’s editorial opinion in the Wisconsin State Journal endorsed Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi’s decision to issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting official publication of recently passed legislation limiting collective bargaining for most public employees, a prerequisite to the law going into effect. The editorial approvingly quoted Judge Sumi as stating, “The failure to provide timely notice before a meeting … It’s not a minor detail.” It’s hard to imagine another judicial statement so short containing so much that is misleading or blatantly untrue. The editorial gave lip service to following “the letter of the law” but clearly prefers its own policy choices referred as the “spirit of the law.” There’s something more important at stake here, the Rule of Law. Judge Sumi and those who support her ruling are completely disregarding this bedrock principle of our society.
I propose taking a look at the letter of the law and what the Rule of Law requires. Maybe that will help our “Progressive” neighbors understand the true meaning and “spirit” of Wisconsin’s Open Meeting law.