Zoeller asks Supreme Court to review Lake right-to-work decision

2013-09-12T12:05:00Z 2013-09-12T23:54:05Z Zoeller asks Supreme Court to review Lake right-to-work decisionBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
September 12, 2013 12:05 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed documents with the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday appealing a Sept. 5 Lake County judge's ruling that the state's right-to-work law is unconstitutional.

"We are asking the Indiana Supreme Court to reverse the lower court's decision and find the statute is constitutional," Zoeller said. "We don't begrudge the right of private plaintiffs to challenge a statute, but my office has a duty to defend the policy-making authority of the people's elected representatives in the Legislature."

Lake Superior Judge John Sedia determined last week the controversial 2012 law violates the Indiana Constitution's just-compensation guarantee, because it forces unions to provide bargaining and grievance services to nonunion members for free.

As in any case where a trial court finds a state law unconstitutional, the appeal will be heard directly by the Supreme Court and bypass the mid-level Court of Appeals.

The high court next will direct the Republican attorney general and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, which brought the lawsuit, to submit written arguments on the issue and likely will schedule oral arguments before the five justices.

Sedia's ruling is on hold until the Supreme Court issues its decision, probably in 2014.

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