The Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision allowing a contentious collective-bargaining law to take effect ended one drama—and collided with another.
For months, state Democrats opposed to the law have been organizing a campaign to remove six Republican state senators from office through recall elections in July.
The court decision "has fired people up," said Graeme Zielinski, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party. He said the party's state office was getting more calls Wednesday than before the ruling, many from people volunteering to canvass voters.
In Wisconsin, if voters successfully petition to recall their lawmakers, those officials must run in special elections to attempt to keep their seats. Primary elections for the Republican senators will be held July 12.
Three Democratic senators also are up for recall. Republicans are urging that the Democrats be removed from office for fleeing to Illinois this spring to block a vote on the collective-bargaining law, which ultimately passed and was signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
While the high court has for now settled the status of the new law—pending a fresh lawsuit filed by labor unions on Wednesday—the ruling has done nothing to quiet the political debate across Wisconsin.
The new law limits the state's public employees to bargaining over their wages from more expansive bargaining rights that included all aspects of their contracts.
It also requires them, for the first time, to contribute 5.8% of their salaries to their pensions and pay at least 12.6% of their health-care premiums.
Mr. Walker said the measure was needed to help tackle the state's budget deficit and give local governments flexibility. Democrats called it an attack on unions.