A federal judge dismissed 2 lawsuits in-home child care small businesses filed after Gov. Dayton signed the bill into law. Here’s part of what the judge wrote of the dismissal:
Chief Judge Michael Davis wrote the “plaintiffs express a fear that, one day, there may be a certified union for family child care providers who accept State subsidies and that, one day, such a union may decide to impose a fair share fee on nonmembers of the union… Plaintiffs request that the Court peer into a crystal ball, predict the future, and then opine on the constitutionality of a speculative scenario…Courts may not give such advisory opinions. Plaintiffs’ claims are not ripe.”
Gov. Dayton issued this statement on Judge Davis’ dismissal:
I am very pleased that both lawsuits seeking to prevent child care providers from deciding for themselves whether or not to form a union have been dismissed by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court. I believe that working men and women should have the right to vote on forming a union, and that the Court’s decisions will permit such an election to be held.
Gov. Dayton’s victory might be temporary. The judge didn’t say the small business leaders’ lawsuit was without merit. He simply said it wasn’t ripe. That’s something echoed by the plaintiffs’ attorney Doug Seaton:
He’s dismissed the case but he’s dismissed it on the basis that nothing is ripe, nothing has happened yet in his view. We think enough has happened so the judge can decide and he shouldn’t dismiss the case but because of that part of the decision it’s possible that our evaluation will be- we’re better off to wait until there’s a filing by AFSCME or some part of the process in the election takes place and then it’s very clear- it is ripe. So that would be one avenue to re-file after a matter of time and developments or directly go to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to file an appeal of this decision.
Hollee Saville, one of the leaders of the anti-unionization fight, issued this statement on Judge Davis’ dismissal:
This is NOT over! We believe the Judge has erred and are considering our options to appeal or refile as the election process proceeds, but this challenge is not over. We remain convinced that home child care providers are not subject to unionization by the state under this statute.
Providers, PLEASE register to accept CCAP NOW so that you would get a vote.
We still need help adopting licensed family child care providers for mailings (any amount makes a difference) and will need help calling eligible voters soon, since we’re sure that AFSCME will present their 500 cards soon.
PLEASE visit www.MinnesotaFamilyChildcare.com to see how you can help.
At the heart of this fight is whether a legislature can write legislation that changes a private sector employer into a public sector employee without the employer’s consent. If the court rules that legislatures have that authority, then there’s nothing that legislatures couldn’t do.
As for Gov. Dayton’s statement, he’s intentionally omitting a pair of important points. First, legislatures shouldn’t have the right to call for a vote when existing federal legislation prohibits that vote. Also, legislatures shouldn’t have the right to write legislation that says private sector employers aren’t private sector employers. That’s what the DFL’s bill essentially does.
Finally, the DFL is playing with political fire with this issue. Anti-unionization activists are upset with the DFL for essentially throwing them under the bus to pay off the DFL’s political allies. The DFL stepped on a political landmine with this. Passing this legislation is motivating voters to vote against the DFL.
UPDATE: Here’s how Sen. Dave Thompson responded to last night’s child care ruling:
“On Sunday, July 28, 2013, The Honorable Michael Davis issued an order dismissing claims against Governor Mark Dayton pertaining to the childcare unionization legislation that was passed and signed into law during the 2013 legislative session. Of course, I am saddened by the decision, but am glad Judge Davis left the door open for the childcare providers to re-assert their claims at a later date.
“It is sad that these independent business people must work through the courts to try and stop the impact of this damaging law. This is what happens when elected officials put political interests ahead of the people. Governor Dayton and Democrats in the legislature have chosen to reward campaign contributors and union bosses while at the same time bullying childcare providers, most of whom are self-employed women.
“Rest assured if I am honored to be your next governor, I would make it a priority to repeal this ill advised and harmful law. This is an example of special interest politics at its worst, and Minnesotans should not stand for it.”
Here’s a quick quiz for voters: when was the last time the DFL didn’t side with their special interest allies?
Tags: Child Care Unionization, Mark Dayton, AFSCME, Mike Nelson, Corruption, Public Employees, PEUs, DFL, Hollee Saville, Doug Seaton, Small Businesses, Child Care Providers, CCAP, Federal Lawsuit, Michael Davis, Federal District Court, Dismissal