Lansing, MI (October 2, 2020) – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has just rejected a request by union lawyers for a preliminary injunction against the Michigan Civil Service Commission’s (MiCSC) new rule protecting employee freedom of choice under Janus v. AFSCME.
The court cited arguments first raised in the case in an amicus brief filed by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Vice President and Legal Director Ray LaJeunesse. Foundation President Mark Mix commented on the ruling:
“The District Court was absolutely right in rejecting union officials’ attempt to block the Civil Service Commission’s commonsense rule to ensure the state is not deducting union dues from public employees in violation of their First Amendment rights. As pointed out in our amicus brief to the court, not only are the union lawyers’ arguments wrong on the merits of the issue, but a recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision specifically forecloses their ability to even bring one of their two claims in this lawsuit.”
The new MiCSC rule requires Michigan state agencies to annually obtain the consent of state employees prior to deducting any union dues from them, while reminding them that they have a right to refuse such payments. The rule helps ensure that the state is not deducting dues from any state employee who has not clearly and affirmatively waived his or her First Amendment rights, as prescribed by the Supreme Court in Janus.
The amicus brief, which was formally accepted by the court in yesterday’s order, was filed jointly by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. In accepting the brief, the order notes the court found “the amici’s contribution to be timely and helpful.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.