October 1, 2013

Supreme Court will hear compelled unionization case

By Deborah J. La Fetra Senior Attorney

An Illinois executive order and law declares all personal home assistants to be public employees, for the sole purpose of being represented by a collective bargaining unit of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that seeks to lobby for greater government spending (Medicaid) on home healthcare.  Several personal home attendants, represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, sued, but the district court and Seventh Circuit upheld the order and law.

PLF joined the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence in an amicus brief written by Tom Caso, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to answer that question, and today the Court agreed to do so.  PLF will continue working with CCJ on the merits brief, arguing that compelling personal care providers to be deemed public employees for the purpose of being represented by a union violates the First Amendment guarantee that Americans cannot be compelled to speak or associate, or petition the government, against their wishes.  Moreover, we will argue that lobbying is not a legitimate “collective bargaining” function.

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