Nevada Policy Co-signs Amicus Brief in Public Employee Union Supreme Court Case

Nevada Policy is one of 18 organizations across the country listed as co-signers on an amicus brief filed last week in support of Kathleen Uradnik, a university professor in Minnesota, in her US Supreme Court lawsuit, Uradnik vs Inter Faculty Association.

The brief, filed and authored by the Center of the American Experiment, urges the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization, which calls for an immediate end to laws that force public-sector employees to accept a union’s exclusive representation. The case, filed by The Buckeye Institute, is the first major post-Janus labor challenge filed with the United States Supreme Court. The counsel of record is Andrew Grossman of BakerHostetler.

The Uradnik case challenges state laws that appoint a union to represent and speak for all workers, even those who disagree with it – an arrangement known as “exclusive representation.”

Uradnik, who has had major disputes with her faculty’s labor union, which has discriminated against her, is nonetheless required by state law to associate with it and to allow it to speak for her. Nevada has similar laws imposing exclusive representation upon public employees, limiting their freedoms and opportunities for advancement.

A win for Uradnik would strike down such laws nationwide, another major blow against union favoritism and in favor of First Amendment rights. The amicus brief encourages the Supreme Court to hear the case, hopefully in its 2019 session.

Nevada Policy Communications Director Michael Schaus released the following statement:

“Exclusive representation laws deny government workers the right to vote on which union, if any, represents them. All workers — even those who opt not to pay union dues — are forced into a binding relationship with the union, as collectively-bargained agreements apply to the entire bargaining unit. The irony is that unions claim to have the best interests of their members at heart, yet exclusive representation does nothing but strip away their members’ workplace rights.”

Nevada lawmakers shouldn’t wait for the Supreme Court to declare this scheme unconstitutional, however. A simple legislative fix known as Workers’ Choice would restore workers right by as early as this summer, should the Legislature choose to act.

To learn more about Workers’ Choice in Nevada, click here to read Employee Freedom: A Primer on state-based, pro-worker reforms.

Seventeen groups signed on to American Experiment’s amicus brief including: the Alaska Policy Forum, Americans for Lawful Unionism, Americans for Tax Reform, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, the Center for Worker Freedom, the Freedom Foundation, the Illinois Policy Institute, the Liberty Justice Center—which successfully argued Janus v. AFSCME, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Montana Policy Institute, Nevada Policy Research Institute, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Rio Grande Foundation, Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights, and the Wyoming Liberty Group.

Professor Uradnik’s case was filed on July 6, 2018, in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, with a preliminary injunction motion filed on July 31, 2018. The motion for preliminary injunction was denied on September 27, 2018, and The Buckeye Institute immediately filed its notice of appeal and asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to quickly deny its motion so the case could be appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. On December 4, 2018, The Buckeye Institute filed its appeal in Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization with the Supreme Court of the United States—the first major post-Janus labor challenge before the court. The counsel of record is Andrew Grossman of Baker Hostetler.

You can read Professor Uradnik’s commentary in the St. Cloud Times here.

Media Inquiries

Media inquries should be directed to Michael Schaus, NPRI's Communications Director.
michael@nevadapolicy.org
(702) 222-0642