“Indiana case may become Big Labor’s newest weapon”
Fundamental transformation, aided by robed philosopher kings whose word is law. Like Gods!
But hey, stop pushing those Levin liberty amendments, Hobbity Visigoths. Or bringing up federalism or amendment conventions. Those are just kooky throwback Klansman wetdreams, the very terms larded with unhelpful historical baggage — and worse, they are likely to frighten off the moderates and independents that, starting with McCain’s victory and culminating in the Romney presidency, keep us in power, and the free market free and thriving!
Do unions exist for the benefit of workers, or do workers exist for the benefit of unions? A judge in Lake County, Ind., ruled recently that it is the latter. Judge John Sedia said in a Sept. 5, 2013, ruling that his state’s right-to-work law, which prevents workers from being forced to join a union or pay dues to one as a condition of employment, violates a section in the state that bars the delivery of services “without just compensation.” The judge’s thinking went like this: Union contracts require them to represent all employees in a workplace. A worker not paying dues is stealing from the union.
It’s an absurd argument. What the judge ignored was the fact that it is the unions that demand their contracts with management cover all workers. Nothing forces them to make that demand. Courts have long recognized the validity of “members-only” contracts in which unions only represent people who voluntarily join. Unions don’t like such contracts because they generate less dues money. Consider Judge Sedia’s ruling from the perspective of an ordinary wage earner: That person gets a job only to find out he is obligated to support the company’s union, a long-standing arrangement the worker never had an opportunity to vote on in the first place.
For whatever reason, he balks because he can negotiate his own compensation, or he doesn’t the like the union’s favored political candidates and causes. Maybe he thinks the union is in bed with management. Then he discovers from a friend — because the union certainly didn’t tell him — that he has the right to quit the union. After going through all of the hassle to do this, a judge says, no, you can’t do that because the union has a right to your money. Why? Because they demanded that in their contract with management.
The Indiana case isn’t over because the attorney general will appeal the decision to the state supreme court. This is worth watching because it has national implications. Should the union’s legal argument prevail, expect it to become one of the main tools Big Labor uses to push back against the right- to-work campaign.
The Indiana AG reportedly may argue that Judge Sedia was wrong because the state constitution provision he cited applies to individuals, rather than unions. The state would be better off highlighting that the only people insisting unions have to represent all workers are the unions themselves. After all, guaranteeing individuals this choice is the whole point of right-to-work laws.
When activist courts join the progressive movement — and rule in violation of the law and common sense — there is really no recourse at present to refute them, save hoping some higher court disagrees. But when even the highest court in the land can treat a tax like Shroedinger’s cat, we need, as a free people, a way to express our unwillingness to let one citizen have the ultimate say for how the rest of us must live, be it enslaved to unions or enslaved to the federal government.
And the only way to do that is to create a check on the (implied) power of judicial review such that 300 million citizens aren’t in essence ruled by a single vote cast for reasons of hoping to create the appearance of comity, and for the benefit of a narcissist’s “legacy.”