Three and a half weeks ago, Dane County (Madison) Judge Maryann Sumi blocked the law on procedural grounds, issuing a temporary restraining order on the grounds the plaintiff, the Dane County District Attorney, had a likelihood of success in his complaint that a key conference committee used to advance the bill -- and to get around the state Senate Dems' walkout from the state -- had violated the state's open-meetings law by failing to give proper 24-hours notice.
This is not the first time that Walker has warned of potential layoffs connected to the delayed passage of his plan. Back in February and early March, when the state Senate Democrats had fled the state in an attempt to block a three-fifths budget quorum -- which was ultimately foiled through the special conference committee maneuver -- the Walker administration had sent out preliminary layoff notices, saying in a statement that "if the Senate Democrats come back to Wisconsin, these notices may be able to be rescinded and layoffs avoided."
Back in February, during Walker's infamous phone call with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as Republican financier David Koch, in which Walker spoke of using layoff threats as political leverage in his quest to break the resistance by the Dems and the public employee unions:
"The other thing is I've got layoff notices ready. We put out the at-risk notices. We'll announce Thursday, and they'll go out early next week. And we'll probably get 5 to 6,000 state workers will get at-risk notices for layoffs. We might ratchet that up a little bit, you know."