Wisconsin Judge Orders Capitol Open to Public

A Dane County circuit court judge ordered Wisconsin authorities on Tuesday to open the Capitol Building in Madison to public access during business hours.

It was not immediately clear whether the temporary restraining order granted by Judge Daniel Moeser would result in a change in the way people have been granted access to the building over the past two days.

Protesters have held demonstrations for two weeks at the Capitol building against Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposal to curb the powers of public sector unions and access was tightened on Monday and Tuesday.

A representative of the Walker administration was not immediately available to comment.

Moeser's order was granted without a hearing and specified that it would stand in effect until the trial court is able to schedule a hearing on the matter.

Representative Peter Barca, the minority leader of Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly, said a hearing was expected within a couple of hours, but authorities needed to open access to the building in an "orderly process."

"I do think they need to do this immediately," Barca said.