Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling ‘Resounding Humiliation’ for Judge Who Blocked Gov. Walker’s Budget Bill

Published June 14, 2011

The Wisconsin Supreme Court late Tuesday overturned a Madison Circuit Court judge’s ruling invalidating Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill. In a case filed by the liberal Dane County district attorney challenging the law, the state supreme court ruled the Republican leadership in the legislature did not violate the Wisconsin Open Meetings Act when it passed the bill.

The state supreme court further ruled that Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi ignored nearly 70 years of settled Wisconsin law by invalidating the measure before it was finalized. By doing so, the court ruled, she invaded and interfered with the legislative process, thus violating the Wisconsin Constitution, which bars judges from doing exactly that.

The following statement by Maureen Martin, senior fellow for legal affairs at The Heartland Institute and a resident of Wisconsin, may be used for attribution. For further comments, please refer to the contact information below.



“The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling late Tuesday was a resounding humiliation for Judge Sumi. Any first-year law student knows the legislative branch of government enacts laws and the judicial branch evaluates their legality after enactment. These principles are embodied in the Wisconsin Constitution, as well as the U.S. Constitution, but Judge Sumi chose to ignore them in her ruling. The high court did the right thing in slapping down Judge Sumi, who should go back for a refresher course in constitutional law.”

Maureen Martin, J.D.
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]


The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; and Tallahassee, Florida. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.