The Buckeye Institute announced Thursday it is filing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on a case it has been fighting on behalf of a professor who has called for an end to laws that force public-sector employees like him to accept compelled union representation.
The free market think tank has been fighting three court cases on the matter. The Ohio Star has reported on developments, most recently here.
According to the Buckeye Institute, it is filing is an appeal to the Supreme Court in Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine (AFUM). The Buckeye Institute represents Professor Jonathan Reisman.
The institute says another of its cases is the first significant post-Janus First Amendment labor-law challenge.
Reisman is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias.
“Professor Reisman is a hardworking public employee who has for many years been forced to associate with a union with which he disagrees and suffer it to speak for him,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute and a lead attorney on the case. “If state law cannot compel public employees to financially support union advocacy — as the court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME — how can states require these same public employees to accept representation from unions that many of them have chosen not to join? These are serious questions about the constitutionality of exclusive representation — questions which the U.S. Supreme Court needs to address.”
Reisman resigned his membership in the union but the law in Maine requires him to be represented by the union, said Andrew M. Grossman of BakerHostetler in Washington, D.C., and counsel on the Reisman v. AFUM petition. He called this unconstitutional.
Reisman states his case in this video.
The Buckeye Institute says it was the first organization in the country to file lawsuits calling on courts to end compelled exclusive representation following the Janus ruling.
Reisman would have liked to remain a member of the local union, but if he did so, he would be forced to also support the respective state and national unions with which AFUM affiliates — the Maine Education Association and the National Education Association. According to the institute, these unions oppose Reisman’s views on political and public policy issues.
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