In press releases and public addresses, the Governor claimed that Act 10 was needed to balance the state budget and give state and municipal governments the tools to manage during economic crisis. There is nothing in the record to suggest prohibiting dues withholding for some, but not all, public sector employees provides an administrative savings. Nor have defendants described how this particular provision affords state and municipal governments increased flexibility to manage the economic crisis, except perhaps to suppress disfavored unions from opposing certain governmental cuts — a purpose that cannot justify the government’s selectively subsidizing union speech. Indeed, the only justification in the record for prohibiting dues withholding for general employees is limiting the speech of that class of unions. During the intense debate over Act 10, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald commented that “[i]f we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a … much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.” The suppression of free speech, however, is not a valid government interest.
Wisconsin Education Association Council v. Scott Walker, March 30, 2012.