Big Implications for Illinois: U.S. Appellate Court Upholds Local Right-to-Work – WP Original
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.