Federal Judges Split In Upholding Ind. Right To Work Law

Posted On September 03, 2014

By Mike Perleberg


Pro-union protestors flocked to the Indiana Statehouse in 2012 in an unsuccessful attempt to sway Republican majority state lawmakers from passing the state’s right to work law. Indiana was the first Midwest state to pass the law, since joined my Michigan.
File photo

(Chicago, Ill.) – Indiana’s right-to-work law is being upheld by a federal appeals court, but the legal battle over the anti-union measure is not over yet.

Tuesday’s split decision was made by a three judge panel of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday. The ruling means the 2012 law that prohibits companies from forcing employees to pay union dues is constitutional and does not violate federal labor laws.

One of the judges, Chief Judge Diane Wood was the lone dissenting judge. She wrote in her opinion that federal labor law “does not support such sweeping force for Indiana’s right-to-work law.”

Tuesday’s federal court decision could be appealed.

In the meantime, some hope remains for those opposed to Indiana’s right-to-work law. The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Thursday on a pair of Lake County cases challenging the law on state constitutional grounds.

In a statement, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller sounded confident in the state’s ability to successfully defend the law before the Indiana Supreme Court.

“Now that the federal courts have concluded the statute the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature passed does not violate federal law, we will argue that the statute also complies with the Indiana Constitution and ought to be upheld,” Zoeller said.


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