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Judge Rules Right-To-Work Lawsuit Can Move Forward

Statehouse steps

Photo: Christopher Ayers/WFIU-WTIU News

Protestors fill the steps of the statehouse on the week the legislation was passed.

A state circuit court judge Thursday ruled one of two lawsuits challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law can move forward.

The state had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing right-to-work legislation does not require unions to do anything and federal law places the burden on unions to represent all workers, regardless of whether they are union members.

State attorney general’s office spokesman Bryan Corbin says the state’s motion was only the first attempt at defeating the suit.

“The state’s position continues to be that the statute is constitutional and now we can pursue additional avenues for upholding the law’s constitutionality,” Corbin says.

Jim Robinson is the district director for the United Steelworkers, the group which filed the lawsuit. He says Thursday’s victory is just one hurdle to overcome.

“The state could only win that if they could show that there’s no possible way that we had a case and the judge said, ‘Yes, there’s a legitimate argument here,’ so now we’re going to move forward to reaching the actual argument,” Robinson says.

Robinson says Right to Work violates the Indiana Constitution’s provision prohibiting the state from requiring services without compensation. Both Corbin and Robinson say there is no timetable yet for the lawsuit’s next step.

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