Friday, January 18, 2013
Ind. Decisions - Right to work law decisions in ND Ind. and 7th Circuit
From a story by the Indianapolis Star's Robert King and Tim Evans:
A federal judge threw out a union’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Indiana’s “right to work” law Thursday, saying such a challenge should remain at the state level.Here is a copy of the opinion in Sweeney v. Daniels.
Judge Philip Simon of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana issued the ruling, approving the state’s motion to dismiss the suit filed last year against former Gov. Mitch Daniels, Attorney General Greg Zoeller and former Commissioner of Labor Lori Torres.
The plaintiffs, Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, claimed the law, which bars companies and unions from negotiating contracts that require all employees to pay for representation, violated the constitution.
The law’s passage by the General Assembly last February was a major milestone in what has become a national tug of war over union rights.
Indiana became the first state in the industrial Midwest to put such a measure on the books. By December, Michigan had followed suit. * * *
Judge Simon wrote that: “For better or worse, the political branches of government make policy judgments. The electorate can ultimately decide whether those judgments are sound, wise and constitute good governance, and then can express their opinions at the polls and by other means.
“But those are questions beyond the reach of the federal court, which instead is limited to analysis of particular legal arguments that the challenged legislation runs afoul of preemptive federal labor law or the U.S. Constitution wrote. None of the legal challenges launched by the Union here to attack Indiana’s new Right to Work law can succeed.”
This afternoon the 7th Circuit issued this opinion in Wisconsin Ed. Ass'n. v. Walker See this post from How Appealing, that begins:
Seventh Circuit overturns that portion of a federal district court's ruling holding that parts of Wisconsin's Act 10, regulating collective bargaining for public employees, are unconstitutional.