7th Circuit affirms Wisconsin’s limits on unions, Indiana RTW challenge remains

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While still considering a challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Wisconsin’s statute limiting the collective bargaining power of some public sector unions.  

The Badger State’s general-employee unions, those organizations that include state and municipal workers who do not hold public safety jobs, challenged Wisconsin’s Act 10 which limited government employers from collectively bargaining with general employees over anything except base wages.

The unions argue, in part, that restrictions created by Act 10 make it difficult for them to represent their members’ interest through the collective-bargaining process. In particular, the union charged their ability to continue to function is impaired partly by the restriction on making non-union workers pay something for the representation they receive, called fair-share agreements.

The prohibition on fair-share agreements were also part of the argument against Indiana’s right-to-work law. In James M. Sweeney v. Mitch E. Daniels, Jr., 13-1264, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 assert the state law provisions that prohibit unions from requiring all employees to pay a “fair share” of the collective bargaining costs violate federal law.

The 7th Circuit has yet to issue an opinion in the Indiana case, but it rejected the arguments from the Wisconsin public sector workers.

“The unions protest that they are an expressive association whose core purpose is to bargain with state employers on their employees’ behalf,” Judge Joel Flaum wrote in Laborers Local 236, AFL-CIO, et al. v. Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, et al., 13-3193. “By enacting laws that prevent the unions from accomplishing this purpose, the unions argue, Wisconsin has weakened their association to a devastating extent. But that simply is not how the First Amendment works. An organization cannot come up with an associational purpose – even a purpose that involves speech – and then require support from the state in order to realize it goal.”



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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues