Court stays ruling striking down law
The Indiana Supreme Court stayed a judge’s ruling in the most recent challenge to the state’s right-to-work law on Friday and denied a motion to consolidate the two cases.
The court’s first action prevents Lake County Circuit Court Judge George Paras’ July 17 decision in favor of the United Steel Workers case from going into effect. The state’s motion was unopposed. As a result, the state is not legally prevented from enforcing the right-to-work law’s provisions.
In September 2013, the previous Sweeney case was decided in favor of the Countryside, Illinois,-based International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150. Lake Superior Court Civil Division Judge John Sedia declared the law unconstitutional on the grounds that the law requires a union to provide services to without compensation. It was stayed in that same month.
The law, which was passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2012, makes it illegal to compel non-union members to pay dues as a condition of employment.
All five Supreme Court justices concurred in both of to- day’s rulings that were signed by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush.
The oral arguments for the Sweeney case are set for Thursday at the Indiana Supreme Court, which is part of the reason the court decided against consolidation. Briefs have not yet been filed in the United Steel appeal.
Ed Maher, communications director for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, said the moves were mostly procedural.
“We don’t look at it as a setback,” Maher said. “We’re confident in the merits of the case.”