* Remember this from last year?…
Three Illinois state employees added to a lawsuit brought by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner challenging the legality of so-called “fair share” fees paid to public employee unions have been cleared by a federal judge to proceed with their litigation against the unions.
Rauner, however, lacks the standing to remain an official party to the lawsuit, the judge said.
Tuesday, May 19, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman dismissed Rauner’s action against the state worker unions, which included the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 and the AFL-CIO.
“In the instant case, the governor has no personal interest at stake,” Gettleman wrote in his opinion, released late Tuesday. “In effect, he seeks to represent the non-member employees subject to the fair share provisions of the collective bargaining agreements. He has no standing to do so. They must do it on their own.”
* And this?…
State employees who replaced Gov. Bruce Rauner as plaintiffs in a suit against unions have notified a federal judge that they challenge the constitutionality of compulsory union fees.
Mark Janus, Marie Quigley and Brian Trygg filed the notice on June 1, along with a complaint to replace one that Rauner filed in February.
For Janus and Quigley, the new complaint raises objections to policy positions of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Lawyer Joseph Torres of Chicago wrote that Janus “does not agree with what he views as the union’s one sided politicking for only its point of view.”
“Janus also believes that AFSCME’s behavior in bargaining does not appreciate the current fiscal crisis in Illinois and does not reflect his best interests or the interests of Illinois citizens,” Torres wrote.
* Well, this ruling by US District Judge Robert Gettleman was handed down the other day without anyone really noticing…
Plaintiffs Mark Janus and Brian Trygg have brought a second amended complaint challenging the constitutionality of the compulsory collection of union fees under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (“IPLRA”), 52 ILCS 315/6. Defendants have moved to dismiss, arguing that the case is controlled by the Supreme Court’s decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), which upheld the constitutionality of such assessments. Plaintiffs brought the suit hoping that Abood would be reversed in a matter then pending before the Supreme Court in which the continued validity of Abood was challenged. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 1083 (2016). In Friedrichs an equally divided Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding fair share fees based on the reasoning in Abood. Id. As a result, Abood remains valid and binding precedent.
Plaintiffs continue to argue that Abood was wrongly decided, but recognize that it remains controlling in the instant case. Consequently, defendants’ motion to dismiss (Doc. 146) is granted.
Makes sense. I suppose the judge could’ve given the Illinois Policy Institute’s legal arm another shot at overturning Abood, but nope.
*** UPDATE *** I’m told an appeal is in the works.