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"Will of the People"

State, City government

On June 6, federal Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. She declared the ban violated the plaintiffs' ( 8 Wisconsin lesbian and gay couples) fundamental right to marry and to equal protection of laws under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Some opponents of gay marriage, including Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine K. Appling,  reacted to the judge's decision by complaining that it overturns the "will of the people".

Indeed, the phrase "will of the people" appears multiple times In Appling's recent op-ed On Gay Marriage, One Liberal Judge Thwarted the Will of the People  (Journal Sentinel, June 9). 

Appling contends the citizens of our state spoke on this issue in 2006 with a solid vote (over 59%) in favor of keeping marriage between one man and one woman.  She argues that Judge Crabb's ruling ignored the expressed will of the majority, overturned the will of the people,  thwarted the will of the people,  etc.

Ah, the "will of the people".  Remember when City of Milwaukee residents overwhelmingly approved a binding referendum to require paid sick leave for workers?   And what happened afterward....

Reports Thinkprogress (July 29, 2011): 

"In 2008, Milwaukee, Wisconsin became the third U.S. city--after San Francisco and Washington, D.C.--to require paid sick leave  for workers, thanks to a referendum overwhelmingly approved by the city's voters. However, back in May, Wisconsin's Republican legislature passed, and notoriously anti-worker Gov. Scott Walker (R.-WI) signed, a bill that took away the ability of cities to decide for themselves whether they want to mandate paid sick leave."

"The sick days law has been tied up in the courts ever since, but yesterday,  the Milwaukee County Circuit Court officially said that the state is within its rights to nullify Milwaukee's law:

After three years of legal and political wrangling over the Milwaukee paid sick-day law that voters approved but business groups denounced, Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Cooper declared Thursday afternoon: 'It's over.'

In doing so he found the city law, passed by 69% of voters in November 2008 and upheld by the state Court of Appeals in March, was moot because of state legislation approved in April that voided it.

"I don't feel real good about how this happened politically," he said in announcing his ruling."

"Judge Cooper said the bill was perfectly targeted to negate Milwaukee's paid sick days law. "You put a bulls-eye on paid sick days," he said. "

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