Court stays rul­ing strik­ing down law

Post-Tribune - - Local / State - BY CHRISTIN NANCE LAZERUS cnance@post-trib.com

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.”

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