By Matthew Rothschild on March 30, 2011

In Wisconsin, the governor is daring to defy the judiciary.

On Tuesday, after Judge Maryann Sumi ordered Gov. Walker and his administration for the second time not to implement the anti-union bill they rammed through, they acted like they could still ignore her court order.

"We don't believe that the court can enjoin non-parties," Bill Cosh, a spokesman for the state's Department of Justice, said in a statement. Amazingly, he added that it's up to Walker's administrators themselves to decide whether they want to obey the judge or not. "Whether the Department of Administration or other state officers choose to comply with any direction issued by Judge Sumi is up to them," he said.

These guys would make Richard Nixon envious of their contempt for the judiciary.

As State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca told me, "We're approaching a constitutional crisis." And as he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

"It's just startling that the attorney general believes you should not follow court orders anymore," he said.

This isn't the first judge's order the Walker administration has disregarded.

After a hearing on having the capitol open to the public, Judge John Albert on March 3 ordered the Walker's administration to revert to the open "access policies in effect on Jan. 28, 2011." But it never has done that. Instead, it is forcing people to enter one at a time, and it is now fining people for hanging signs in the capitol.

But the violation of Judge Sumi's order is much more flagrant than that.

Judge Sumi ought to cite Gov. Walker and his Department of Administration for contempt of court if they dare try to implement this law any further.

And any public employee who has his or her take-home pay docked this Friday under the new law ought to be able to join a class action suit against the state of Wisconsin for tampering with their paychecks.

And the district attorney of Dane County should sue the Walker administration and its Department of Administration for violating a court order.

This lawlessness must stop.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Wis. Judge Puts Law on Hold Again, Warns Walker Administration Not to Defy the Court."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

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A plea to United States citizens to work for peace

An Indian journalist globally renowned as an advocate for the poor, Palagummi Sainath detailed the detrimental...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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