A Wisconsin judge repealed the state law that essentially ended collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

In a 27-page ruling, Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas handed down the decision Friday, arguing the law proposed by Gov. Scott Walker is in violation of both the Wisconsin and U.S. constitutions as it breaks with freedom of speech and freedom of association guarantees.

The verdict is the result of a lawsuit by the Madison Teachers Inc. – the city’s public teachers union – and a union for Milwaukee city employees.

“The people of Wisconsin clearly spoke on June 5,” Walker said in a statement. “Now they are ready to move on. Sadly, a liberal activist judge in Dane County wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor.

“We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process.”

The law in question sparked massive protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol in February 2011 and was the chief motivator of the gubernatorial recall election in June 2012. Walker, a Republican, defeated Democrat Tom Barrett in the recall.

The Associated Press first reported on the ruling.

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