Advertisement

July 25, 2014

Right To Work Challenge Dismissed in Federal Court

Operators Local 150 has been soundly tossed out of federal court in its effort to overturn Indiana's Right to Work Act. In a decisive 24-page opinion, Judge Philip Simon of the Northern District of Indiana examined and dismissed every challenge to the Act raised by the Operating Engineers.

The Union challenged the statute under the Contracts Clause, the Ex Post Facto Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They further challenged the Act as being pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act and finally raised issues with it under the Indiana Constitution. Simon dismissed all of the federal constitutional challenges as failing to state a claim. He dismissed the state constitutional claims without prejudice on federalism grounds under the 11th Amendment noting clear authority from the United States Supreme Court that claims against state officials under state law cannot be considered in federal court.

Simon concluded 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.”

A copy of the opinion is available here.

The Associated Press has quoted Union Spokesman Ed Maher as saying that they are considering an appeal of Simon's decision.

Though the Operators’ Local 150 challenge has been dismissed, a challenge brought under the state constitution by the Steelworkers Union continues in state court in Lake County, Indiana. That case contends, among other things, that the statute violates an Indiana constitutional protection that bars demands for services from someone “without just compensation.” Judge George Parras denied the state's motion to dismiss that action last October.(You can see our discussion of that decision here.)

© 2014 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP

About the Author

Gerald Lutkus, Labor and Employment Attorney, Barnes Thornburg, Law Firm
Partner

Gerald F. (“Jerry”) Lutkus is a partner in the South Bend office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP where he is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Departments. He practices in the areas of labor and employment law counseling and litigation, arbitration, collective bargaining, media law, including counseling of and defense litigation for media companies and commercial and business litigation.

574-237-1118

Boost: AJAX core statistics

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review's (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC's  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on www.NatLawReview.com are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  

Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is www.NatLawReview.com  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional.  NLR does not answer legal questions nor will we refer you to an attorney or other professional if you request such information from us. 

Under certain state laws the following statements may be required on this website and we have included them in order to be in full compliance with these rules. The choice of a lawyer or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising Notice: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Statement in compliance with Texas Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless otherwise noted, attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, nor can NLR attest to the accuracy of any notation of Legal Specialization or other Professional Credentials.

The National Law Review - National Law Forum LLC 4700 Gilbert Ave. Suite 47 #230 Western Springs, IL 60558  Telephone  (708) 357-3317 If you would ike to contact us via email please click here.