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*** UPDATED x1 *** Fair share suit initiated by Rauner dismissed by federal judge

Friday, Sep 30, 2016

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    I’m just glad Rauner isn’t about destroying labor…

    Otherwise, this would be Rauner not being successful, and we all know Rauner has been successful at everything he’s ever done.


  2. - Henry Francis - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    Aside from IPI’s legal team winning the recent same name voter registration matter, have they - or Rauner - prevailed on any of the suits they filed?

    There sure has been a lot of litigatin and campaignin, but very little governin


  3. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:47 pm:

    This is one reason why the presidential election is so important to so many who value and want to keep fair share fees. A Trump presidency and GOP Senate would very likely bring SCOTUS justices who’d overturn Abood.


  4. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:56 pm:

    Thank a loving God. One less thing we have to fight or spend money fighting.


  5. - Norseman - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:56 pm:

    Labor, just a battle, the war continues. Act and vote accordingly.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    - Norseman - is on it.

    The failure here would be to think Rauner will give up.

    He won’t. The more switches Rauner controls, the quicker Rauner will switch back to targeting labor publicly.

    Vote accordingly.


  7. - COPN - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    I’m not sure either side genuinely expected a different decision at this lower court level and it gives a concrete example of how Scalia’s replacement will matter.


  8. - AC - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==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.==

    With something as seemingly insignificant as a single Supreme Court pick being the only thing stopping national right to work, all least in the public sector if not beyond, it’s almost as if elections matter. That can’t be, can it? /s


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