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Attorney general files right-to-work appeal with Indiana Supreme Court

September 12, 2013

The Indiana attorney general filed notice Sept. 12 that he is asking the state’s highest court to find Indiana’s right-to-work law constitutional.

The move is in response to a decision issued by Lake Superior Court Judge John Sedia that struck down a provision of the right-to-work statute. In Sweeney V. Zoeller , the northern Indiana judge ruled that the labor law violates Article I, Section 21 of the Indiana Constitution by requiring unions to provide services to non-members without receiving just compensation.

At that time, the Indiana attorney general’s office called the ruling incorrect and said it would file an appeal.

Today, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said his office is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to reverse the Lake County decision and find the statute constitutional.

“We don’t begrudge the right of private plaintiffs to challenge a statute, but my office has a duty to defend the policy-making authority of the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature,” he stated in a press release.

The plaintiffs, which include the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, filed a five-count complaint in Lake County on Feb. 11, 2013. The complaint asserted the right-to-work law, codified in Indiana Code 22-6-6, violated the state constitution.

Sedia dismissed four counts of the complaint but found the provisions that bar a union from requiring workers join and pay dues, and that criminalize intentionally forcing someone to join, were unconstitutional.   
 

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