The Buckeye Institute: U.S. Supreme Court Will Have Another Opportunity to End Forced Exclusive Representation

Apr 29, 2019

Columbus, OH – Robert Alt, The Buckeye Institute’s president and chief executive officer, issued the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States announced it denied cert on Buckeye’s motion for preliminary injunction in Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization, which called for an immediate end to laws that force public-sector employees to accept a union’s exclusive representation.

“For too long, Professor Kathy Uradnik has been forced to speak through a union that advocates against her interests,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute and a lead attorney on the case. “Unfortunately, today the high court passed on the opportunity to hear her case immediately, but it has given us another opportunity to seek justice by sending it back to the U.S. District Court where The Buckeye Institute will continue to fight relentlessly on Kathy’s behalf. We look forward to presenting Professor Kathy Uradnik’s compelling case to the Supreme Court on its merits in the future.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling affects only the preliminary injunction motion. The case will now be returned to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota where it will be argued on the merits.

Andrew M. Grossman, a partner at BakerHostetler LLP in Washington, D.C., and counsel of record on the Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization petition said of today’s announcement, “Forcing public workers to accept union representation is incompatible with the right to freedom of speech. We remain confident that the First Amendment will prevail.”

Background on The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Cases following Janus:

The Buckeye Institute was the first organization to file lawsuits calling on courts to end compelled exclusive representation following the 2018 Janus decision, and is representing Professor Kathy Uradnik in Minnesota, Jade Thompson in Ohio, and Professor Jonathan Reisman in Maine.

Kathy Uradnik’s case was originally 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. On December 4, 2018, The Buckeye Institute filed a petition in Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization with the Supreme Court of the United States—the first major post-Janus labor challenge to reach the Supreme Court.

Kathy (watch a video of her telling her own story below and read her piece in the St. Cloud Times) is a professor of political science at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Her union—the Inter Faculty Organization (IFO)—created a system that discriminates against non-union faculty members by barring them from serving on any faculty search, service, or governance committee, and even bars them from joining the Faculty Senate. This second-class treatment of non-union faculty members impairs the ability of non-members to obtain tenure, to advance in their careers, and to participate in the academic life and governance of their institutions.

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