In Amicus Brief, The Buckeye Institute Calls on U.S. Supreme Court to Protect First Amendment Rights of Government Contractors

Jan 17, 2019

Columbus, OH – After filing the first post-Janus First Amendment labor law challenge in the United States Supreme Court, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in support of a related challenge, Bierman v. Dayton. Buckeye’s brief calls on the court to recognize that laws forcing recipients of government benefits to speak through unions are unconstitutional. It argues that the lower courts have improperly exempted such “exclusive representation” schemes from scrutiny under the First Amendment.

“In Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization, The Buckeye Institute outlined why it is unconstitutional to force public employees to speak through unions that advocate against their interests,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute and a lead attorney on Uradnik v. IFO. “Like Kathy Uradnik, Teri Bierman—a mother who provides her daughter with home health care—should not be forced to associate with a government union with which she disagrees.”

The Bierman case, brought by the National Right to Work Foundation, raises similar claims to Buckeye’s case, Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization, which was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on December 4, 2018. As with Uradnik v. IFO, Bierman v. Dayton challenges Minnesota state law which forces individuals, in this case home health care providers, to speak through a government-designated union.

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UPDATE: May 13, 2019, cert was denied by the Supreme Court of the United States.