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By: Mark Glennon*


The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a Kentucky county’s right-to-work ordinance, validating enactment of right-to-work at the local level. (The case is UAW v. Hardin County, 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-5246.)


Lincolnshire, Illinois passed a right-to-work ordinance last December. If upheld by the courts, it would bar private employers from requiring workers to join unions and set the precedent for other Illinois towns, cities and counties to do the same. That ordinance is being challenged by unions in federal court and a decision there, either way, undoubtedly will be appealed to our 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


That court may or may not choose to follow today’s ruling for Kentucky, but if it decides against right-to-work, the United States Supreme Court almost certainly would accept an appeal to solve the split between the appellate courts. The appointment by Donald Trump of a new justice to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court is widely expected to push the balance of the Supreme Court towards a conservative majority that’s friendly towards right-to-work.


The bottom line is that authorization to enact right-to-work laws at the local level may well be coming to Illinois.


*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.



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If I were the DuPage County board, I’d enact right to work legislation immediately. Then let cities inside DuPage County follow suit. It’s high time for Republicans to put up or shut up. Enact actual legislation instead of talking about it. Why isn’t a Republican dominated county like DuPage enacting pension reform for the employees it controls? Time to hold Republican feet to the fire.

Michael Lucci
Jeff, with all due respect to the leaders in DuPage, it is unclear to us (at IPI) whether a non-home rule county can take such action. The Illinois municipality that enacted RTW is a home-rule municipality. DuPage county is not home-rule. Having said that, the Kentucky ruling makes it seem more likely that any political subdivision of a state can enact RTW under federal law. But there would be the question of whether DuPage could do that under state law. In terms of put up or shut up, I strongly agree that local leaders should. There are definitely a handful of county boards in Illinois who were… Read more »
bob oriole park

If Trump gets a conservative on the SCOTUS then Friedrichs v California Teachers Association can go back for a rehearing.