Another court rejects child care unionization

Technically speaking, the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t reject the merits of the DFL’s legislative attempt to shove unionization down child care small businesses’ throats. According to this post, they simply issued “an injunction blocking the law” from being enforced:

A hotly-contested law that was to allow in-home child care providers to vote on whether to unionize has been temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court.


Officials of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is representing Minnesota providers who oppose unionization, said they received notice late Thursday that their motion for an injunction blocking the law was granted by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to lawyers for the group, that means the child-care union election cannot take place until the injunction is lifted. The appeals court said it wants to wait to see if the U.S.Supreme Court decides to hear an appeal on a related case dealing with unionization of home-care workers. That case is called Harris v. Quinn.

This isn’t good news for the unions. Injunctions and stays aren’t usually granted if the case isn’t likely to succeed. That means, apparently, that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals thinks the plaintiffs have a good chance of winning the underlying case.

Still, the fight isn’t over:

Jennifer Munt, a spokeswoman for AFSCME, the union seeking to organize providers, said the union will continue its work “full steam ahead.” “This one-sentence decision has nothing to do with the merits of the case,” Munt said. “It’s a temporary roadblock that doesn’t stop us from organizing. We are moving full-speed ahead because child care providers want a union.”

Technically, Ms. Munt is right in the narrow sense that the Eighth Circuit hasn’t ruled on the merits of the case yet. From a legal standpoint, however, there’s a pretty high probability that the plaintiffs will win the lawsuit. All that might become moot if the Supreme Court takes up a different case regarding the matter:

That case is called Harris v. Quinn.

In-home child care providers are independent businesses. That necessarily means government doesn’t have the right to classify private sector employers as public employees. Further, the First Amendment guarantees “the right of the people” to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That means each business should be able to pick the people to “petition the government” about their grievances.

Mary Franson is one of the GOP’s leaders on this issue. She issued this statement after hearing about the Eighth Circuit’s ruling:

“Today’s ruling from the federal appeals court is the first step to remedy the injustice done by Democrats to the hardworking childcare providers and parents of Minnesota. As a mom and former childcare provider, I know firsthand we don’t need big union bosses increasing costs and creating fewer options for the care of our precious children,” said Franson. “While the legal battle over this law is far from over, I’m happy Minnesota moms and dads and their childcare providers can breath a little easier for now as the threat of forced childcare unionization is no longer imminent.”

Rep. Franson is right. This fight isn’t over. Still, this ruling is a victory for the plaintiffs. That’s great news for in-home child care providers and low-income parents.

Comments welcome at Let Freedom Ring.