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Thousands of pro-labor protesters rallied at the Wisconsin Capitol Saturday, March 12, 2011, in Madison, vowing to fight back after the state's Republican governor signed into law a controversial bill that eliminates most collective bargaining rights for public employees.

It appeared unlikely Tuesday that a new law aimed at curbing collective bargaining rights for public employees will be derailed in court before it takes effect later this month.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi warned she likely won't decide whether to stop implementation of Gov. Scott Walker's law when she hears testimony on a preliminary injunction on Friday. And after that hearing, Sumi said, she will be out of state on a family vacation until March 28, three days after the expected publication date of the bill.

"You should not expect a decision on Friday," Sumi told lawyers for Dane County , which brought the case, and state officials. "If you need a decision before the secretary of state publishes (the bill), you can't expect one."

Sumi asked the state to file a response to the county's suit by the end of the day Thursday.

Sumi also reminded the parties that either side could request another judge be assigned to hear the case.

Circuit Judge Amy Smith on Monday she recused herself from the case, citing a conflict of interest.

The county filed the lawsuit on Friday, alleging that a legislative conference committee that made key changes to the bill met without proper notice under Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law. It also questions whether the state Senate had a proper quorum to consider the bill.

Smith on Friday declined to put a temporary stop to publication of the bill by Secretary of State Doug La Follette.

La Follette, a Democrat, has said he planned to delay publication of the bill until March 25 — the latest date allowable under the law — to permit legal challenges to go forward.

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