PRESS | The Buckeye Institute Files Third Lawsuit Demanding Recognition of Public-Sector Workers’ First Amendment Rights

Columbus, OH – On the heels of its two previous lawsuits filed in federal district courts in Minnesota and Ohio following the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision, The Buckeye Institute filed its third lawsuit and corresponding preliminary injunction in Maine calling for an immediate end to laws that compel public-sector employees who have refused to join a union to accept forced union representation.

The three lawsuits challenge the constitutionality of compelled exclusive representation, in which a government agency appoints a representative to speak on behalf of employees, in their names. The most recent case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maine on August 10 (with a preliminary injunction motion filed on August 16) on behalf of Jonathan Reisman, an associate professor of economics at the University of Maine at Machias who served as the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine’s grievance officer.

“As his local union’s grievance officer, Mr. Reisman understood and greatly valued the role of his local union. But he could accept neither being forced to support a national and state union that advocated for a partisan agenda with which he disagreed nor having a union advocate for that agenda in his name, as his appointed representative,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute and an attorney on the case. “In filing this lawsuit, and others like it across the country, The Buckeye Institute is calling for an end to the unconstitutional, un-American, and unfair practice of compelled ‘exclusive representation.’ It is long past time to recognize that public employees have the same right to speak for themselves that everyone else has.”

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