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Friday, August 29, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court stays 2nd Lake right-to-work ruling, will hear 1st on Thursday

The Supreme Court has issued a stay in the second Lake County right-to-work case, according to a brief AP story late this afternoon:

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered a northwest Indiana judge's ruling striking down the state's right-to-work law be stayed.

The ruling signed Friday by new Chief Justice Loretta Rush stays an order by Lake County Judge George Paras in July that determined the law violates the state constitution by forcing unions to provide services to workers without payment. The order stays that ruling until the conclusion of the state's appeal of the ruling or until the high court issues a different ruling.

The Supreme Court also declined to consolidate that case with a similar case involving Indiana's right to work law because oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday in one case and briefs haven't been filed in the other.

For background, see this post on the Zoeller, et al. v. James Sweeney, et al. oral argument scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 4th, and its links.

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From a release from AG Zoeller's office:
Today the Indiana Supreme Court granted the State’s unopposed motion to stay Judge Paras’ judgment in the United Steel case. The stay means Judge Paras’ ruling will not be in force until the appeal of the United Steel case is concluded or until further order of the Supreme Court. In September of last year, the separate judgment in the Sweeney case also was stayed. With both Lake County court rulings now stayed for the time being pending appeal, the State is not legally prevented from enforcing the Indiana right-to-work law’s provisions.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Supreme Court today also denied the Sweeney plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate their case with the United Steel case. The Supreme Court noted the Sweeney appeal already is fully briefed and scheduled for oral argument this Thursday, Sept. 4, whereas briefs have not yet been filed in the United Steel appeal.

Since the legal issues in the two lawsuits are similar and interrelated, the State of Indiana had consented to the Sweeney plaintiffs’ request to consolidate two cases as long as the State’s stay request also was granted. But in light of Court’s order today denying consolidation, the State will proceed with the original date for oral argument on Sweeney next Thursday in the Indiana Supreme Court. The appeal in United Steel will occur on a different timetable.

All five Supreme Court justices concurred in both of today’s rulings – granting the stay and denying consolidation -- that were signed by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush.

ILB: As of this writing, neither of today’s rulings – granting the stay and denying consolidation - are available on the Supreme Court website.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 29, 2014 04:55 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions