Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld the state’s “right-to-work” law, ruling that a previous decision throwing out a lawsuit from unions was appropriate. 

The unions have argued the GOP-authored law is is an “unconstitutional taking” of their property by making them give equal representation to non-union members in negotiations with employers.

But a federal judge last year rejected that argument, citing a 2014 ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that dismissed a similar case from Indiana.

A three-judge panel from that court decided the plaintiffs, Local 139 and Local 420, did not provide “compelling reasons” to revisit the court’s ruling in the Indiana case.

Scott Kronland, a lawyer representing the operating engineer unions, said they’re considering their legal options.

“We understood that the panel would be bound to follow 7th Circuit precedent, but we believe that precedent is wrong,” he said.

But Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel said the ruling from the three-judge panel “affirms what we have argued since this law was enacted in 2015,” that the law is constitutional.

“The Constitution does not protect a union’s right to take money from non-union members and I’m proud to have defended the rule of law in Wisconsin,” he said in a statement.

See the ruling and Schimel’s statement:

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