James Sweeney vs. Mike Pence

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Right-to-work appeal

Transcript of James Sweeney vs. Mike Pence

  • In the

    United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit

    ____________________No.131264JAMESM.SWEENEY,etal.,

    PlaintiffAppellants,v.

    MICHAELPENCE,GovernoroftheStateofIndiana,etal.,

    DefendantAppellees.____________________

    AppealfromtheUnitedStatesDistrictCourtfortheNorthernDistrictofIndiana,HammondDivision.

    No.2:12cv00081PPSPRCPhilipP.Simon,ChiefJudge.____________________

    ARGUEDSEPTEMBER12,2013DECIDEDSEPTEMBER2,2014____________________

    BeforeWOOD,ChiefJudge,andMANIONandTINDER,CircuitJudges.

    TINDER,Circuit Judge.PlaintiffAppellants,membersandofficers of the InternationalUnion ofOperatingEngineers,Local150,AFLCIO(theUnion)appealthedistrictcourtsdismissal of their suit, arguing that the Indiana Right toWorkActviolatestheirrightsundertheUnitedStatesConstitution and ispreemptedby federal labor legislation.Be

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  • 2 No.131264

    causethelegislationisnotpreemptedbytheschemeoffederallaborlawanddoesnotviolateanyconstitutionalrights,weaffirmthedistrictcourtsdismissalofthesuit.

    IAfter a rancorous, partisan monthlong fight during

    whichhundredsofunionmemberscrowded,dayafterday,intotheStatehousehalls,1theIndianalegislaturepassedtheIndianaRighttoWorkActonFebruary1,2012,andGovernorMitchDanielssignedthelegislationintolaw.Thelawsrelevantprovisionsforthislitigationarethefollowing.Section8,whichspellsout theprincipalprohibitionsof

    theRighttoWorkAct:Apersonmaynotrequireanindividualto:(1) Becomeor remainamemberofa labor

    organization;(2) Pay dues, fees, assessments, or other

    chargesofanykindoramounttoalabororganization;or

    (3) Pay to a charity or third party anamount that is equivalent to or a prorata part of dues, fees, assessments orotherchargesrequiredofmembersofalabororganization

    1MonicaDavey, IndianaGovernor Signs aLawCreating a Right toWork State, N.Y. TIMES (Feb. 2, 2012) at A12, available athttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/us/indianabecomesrighttoworkstate.html(lastaccessedAug.20,2014).

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  • No.131264 3

    asaconditionofemploymentorcontinuationofemployment.

    IND.CODE22668.Section 3, which makes clear what substantive provi

    sionsoftheRighttoWorkActaretobeconstruedtoapplytothebuildingandconstructionindustry:

    Nothing in thischapter is intended,orshouldbeconstrued,tochangeoraffectany lawconcerningcollectivebargainingorcollectivebargaining agreements in the building and constructionindustryotherthan:

    (1) a law that permits agreements thatwould requiremembership in labororganization;

    (2) a law that permits agreements thatwould require the payment of dues,fees, assessments, or other charges ofanykindofamounttoalabororganization;or

    (3) a law that permits agreements thatwouldrequire thepayment toacharityor a third party of an amount that isequivalenttooraproratapartofdues,fees, assessment, or other charges requiredofmembersofa labororganization;

    asaconditionofemployment.IND.CODE22663.

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    AndSection13,whichmakesclear thatSections812oftheActapplyprospectively:

    Sections8through12ofthischapter:(1) apply to a written or oral contract or

    agreement entered into, modified, renewed, or extended after March 14,2012;and

    (2) donotapplytoorabrogateawrittenororal contract or agreement in effect onMarch14,2012.

    IND.CODE226613.On February 22, 2012, PlaintiffAppellants, officers and

    membersoftheInternationalUnionofOperatingEngineers,Local 150,AFLCIO (theUnion), brought suit in federaldistrictcourtagainst theGovernorof Indiana, theAttorneyGeneral of Indiana, and the Commissioner of the IndianaDepartmentofLabor in theirofficialcapacities,seekingdeclaratoryrelief.TheyallegedthattheIndianaRighttoWorkActviolates theUnitedStatesConstitutionand the IndianaConstitution.Theyfurtherarguedthattheschemeoffederallabor law, specifically the National Labor Relations Act(NLRA),29U.S.C.151 et seq.,preempts8(2)(3)and3(2)(3)ofthenewlegislation.OnJanuary17,2013,thefederal district court grantedDefendantAppelleesMotion toDismiss on thepreemption claim and the federal constitutionalclaims.PlaintiffAppellantstimelyappealed.22Webrieflynote that there isparallel litigationpending in the Indianastatecourts.Twodecisionshavebeenissuedbystatetrialcourtsinrela

    Continuedonnextpage

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    IIOnappeal,PlaintiffAppellants raise twovarietiesof is

    sues:whetherthelawispreemptedbythefederalschemeoflabor law,andwhether the Indiana lawviolates theUnitedStatesConstitution.Weanswerinthenegativetobothquestions.1. FederalPreemptionPlaintiffAppellantsmain argument asserts that the In

    dianarighttowork law ispreemptedby federal legislationonthesametopic.

    The history of the federal legislation in question is importanthere.CongressenactedtheWagnerActin1935andamendeditthroughtheLaborManagementRelationsActof1947,betterknownastheTaftHartleyAct.TheTaftHartleyAct includedseveralprovisions intendedtoameliorateperceivedimbalancesintheNLRA.Inparticular,Congresswasconcernedaboutabusesstemmingfromtheclosedshop,aunionsecurity agreement whereby an employer agreed totiontothestatute:inacaseinLakeCountySuperiorCourtbroughtby,interalia, thePlaintiffAppellants (Order,Sweeneyv.Zoeller,No.45D011305PL52(LakeCnty.Super.Ct.Sep.9,2013),DocketNo.23),andinaseparatecase inLakeCountyCircuitCourtbroughtbymembersofanother union (Order, United Steel Paper v. Zoeller, No. 45C011207PL00071 (LakeCnty.Cir.Ct. Jul.17,2014)).Bothdecisionshavebeenappealed to the Indiana Supreme Court. (Docket Records of Zoeller v.Sweeney,No.45S001309PL00596(accessedAug.20,2014);DocketRecordsofZoellerv.UnitedSteelPaper,No.45S001407PL00492(accessedAug. 20, 2014)).The state trial courtsdecisions are far fromfinal inmost respects,and,moreover,havenopreclusiveeffectonourconsiderationoffederalquestionshere.

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    hire only union members. Section 8(3) of the Wagner Actwas accordingly amended to ban closed shops. However,the amended Section 8(3) shield[ed] from anunfair laborpracticecharge lesssevere formsofunionsecurityarrangementsthantheclosedorunionshop.NLRB.v.Gen.MotorsCorp.,373U.S.734,739(1963).Forexample,itpermittedanarrangement requiringnonunionmembers topay totheunion$2amonth for thesupportof thebargainingunit.Id.

    AlthoughCongresspermittedlessrestrictive,posthiringunionsecurity agreements under federal law, it also leftstates free to ban them. Section 14(b) of theAct providedthatSection8(3)didnotprotectaunionsecurityagreementifitwasprohibitedbyStateorTerritoriallaw.BythetimeSection14(b)wasincludedintheNLRA,twelveStateshadstatutesorconstitutionalprovisionsoutlawingorrestrictingthe closed shop and related devices, laws about whichCongressseemstohavebeenwellinformedduringthe1947debates.RetailClerks IntlAssn,Local1625v.Schermerhorn,375U.S.86,100(1963)(RetailClerksII).

    Inrelevantpart,Section8(a)(3)oftheNLRAnowreads:It shall be an unfair labor practice for an

    employerbydiscriminationinregardtohireortenureoremploymentoranytermorconditionofemploymenttoencourageordiscouragemembershipinanylabororganization.Provided,Thatnothinginthissubchapter,or

    inanyotherstatuteof theUnitedStates,shallpreclude an employer frommaking an agreement with a labor organization (not estab

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    lished, maintained, or assisted by any actiondefined in this subsection as an unfair laborpractice) to require as a condition of employmentmembershiptherein.

    29U.S.C.158(a)(3).AndSection14(b)oftheNLRAprovides:

    Nothing in this subchapter shall be construedasauthorizingtheexecutionorapplicationofagreementsrequiringmembership inalabor organization as a condition of employment in any State or Territory inwhich suchexecutionorapplication isprohibitedbyStateorTerritoriallaw.

    29U.S.C.164(b).The Supreme Court has clarified the relationship be

    tweenthesetwoprovisions:14(b)wasintendedtopreventothersections intheNLRAfromcompletelyextinguishingstatepowerover certainunionsecurityarrangements.RetailClerks Intern.Assn,Local1625v.Schermerhorn,373U.S.746,751(1963)(RetailClerksI).Specifically,[Section14(b)]wasdesignedtomakecertainthat8(a)(3)couldnotbesaidtoauthorizearrangementsof thissort inStateswheresucharrangements were contrary to the State policy. Id. (citationsand internalquotationmarksomitted).Thus,wereadSection 14(b) as protecting states authority to enact lawsprohibiting unionsecurity arrangements that are permissibleunderSection8(a)(3)andotherprovisionsoftheNLRA.ThisreadingwasunderscoredbytheSupremeCourtsdecisioninRetailClerksII,whichdeclaredthatthelegislativehistory ma[de] clear and unambiguous the purpose ofCon

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    gressnot topreempt the field.RetailClerks II, 375U.S. at101.TheCourtconcludedthatCongressin1947didnotdeprive theStatesofanyandallpower toenforce their lawsrestricting theexecutionandenforcementofunionsecurityagreementsandthatitisplainthatCongresslefttheStatesfreetolegislateinthefieldofunionsecurityagreements.Id.at102.Thefreedomreservedtothestatesisextensive;evenif [a]unionsecurityarrangement clearsall federalhurdles,theStatesby reasonof14(b)have the final sayandmayoutlawit.Id.at10203.TheSupremeCourtcouldnothavebeenmoreexplicitregardingthebroadauthorityofstatestoprohibitunionsecurityagreements.

    It isagainst thisbackdropofstatesextensiveauthority,reservedtothembythelanguageofthestatuteandtheSupreme Court