MHPC Joins in Amicus Brief to Advance Workplace Freedom for Public Employees


January 8, 2019
Contact: Jacob Posik
Director of Communications
207.321.2550 / 207.240.7064

PORTLAND – The Maine Heritage Policy Center has joined with 17 other state and nationally affiliated groups as co-signers on an amicus brief filed by the Center of the American Experiment urging the Supreme Court to hear Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization, a case that challenges state laws that force public sector union employees to accept a union’s exclusive representation.

The case, filed by The Buckeye Institute in July 2018, is the first major post-Janus labor challenge filed with the United States Supreme Court.

Kathleen Uradnik, a professor at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, has had major disputes with her faculty’s labor union, but is nonetheless required by state law to associate with it and allow it to speak on her behalf. Maine has similar laws that require unions to be the exclusive representative of workers, regardless of an employee’s membership status with the union.

A win for Uradknik would strike down exclusive representation laws across the country, serving another blow to unions in favor of First Amendment rights.  

Upon the filing of the brief, chief executive officer of The Maine Heritage Policy Center Matthew Gagnon said:

“Exclusive representation laws, like those on the books in Maine and Minnesota, diminish the First Amendment freedoms of public employees. The recent Janus v. AFSCME decision raises serious questions about the constitutionality of exclusive representation – questions that should be answered by our nation’s highest court.

“Public unions, which have long complained about the ‘free rider’ aspects of Janus, should join us in supporting Kathleen Uradnik, as doing so would alleviate them of their stated burden of representing employees who have chosen against joining a union and paying the dues associated with membership.”

Sixteen other groups signed on to the amicus brief filed by the Center for the American Experiment, including: the Alaska Policy Forum, Americans for Lawful Unionism, Americans for Tax Reform, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, the Center for Worker Freedom, the Freedom Foundation, the Illinois Policy Institute, the Liberty Justice Center, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Montana Policy Institute, Nevada Policy Research Institute, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Rhoide Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Rio Grande Foundation, Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights, and the Wyoming Liberty Group.

Professor Uradnik’s commentary in the St. Cloud Times can be read here.