Indiana Supreme Court upholds right-to-work law

The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the state’s right-to-work law. In a 5-0 decision, Justice Dickson wrote for the Court.

The union had argued that the right-to-work law violated the Indiana Constitution by requiring the union to provide services (bargaining) without just compensation. Dickson soundly rejects their argument on two points:

First, the state of Indiana isn’t demanding any services whatsoever from the union. It is federal law that requires an exclusive agency union to represent non-members, not state law.

Second, the union can choose to not be an exclusive agency representative, in which case they would not be required to represent non-members under federal law.

Legally, the Court seems to have a pretty tight argument. The union’s main concern – that the only meaningful union representation is exclusive agency representation – is a sympathetic one, but not one that is recognized by the law as currently written.

Four Justices signed off on the opinion of the Court. Justice Rucker concurred only in the result, on the grounds that the union failed to demonstrate that the law was facially invalid, but suggested that it might be unconstitutional as applied in some circumstances. Although Rucker did not join the Court’s opinion, his concurrence suggests that he would be supportive of much of the Court’s reasoning.