Judge shuts down Dayton’s forced unionization of independent day-care workers

posted at 11:31 am on April 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When last we left Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and his attempt to shanghai independent day-care workers into a public-employee union by executive order, a judge had temporarily halted the effort pending further review, albeit with plenty of expressions of deep skepticism over Dayton’s authority to proceed.  Yesterday, Judge Dale Lindman made it official, ruling that Dayton exceeded his constitutional authority and violated the prerogative of the legislature, nullifying the upcoming unionization election:

Judge Dale Lindman declared Dayton’s order, issued Nov. 15, ”null and void because it is an unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislature’s constitutional right to create and or amend laws and as such is a violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine.”

The decision was a victory for anti-union child-care providers and conservative groups who opposed an attempt to unionize in-home child-care providers. It was a defeat for Dayton, who argued that the providers had a right to decide through an election whether they wanted to be represented by a union.

Lindman’s order ruled that the elections ordered by Dayton cannot occur.

“The proper method to proceed is for the matter to be brought to the Legislature,” Lindman’s order reads. He argued that Dayton’s order is an attempt “to circumvent the Legislative process and unionize child care providers by executive order, rather than by adhering to a valid Legislative process.”

Dayton attempted to bypass the state legislature in this effort by declaring through executive order that day-care centers that indirectly receive state aid through their clients are in effect public-sector workplaces — a definition not found in law or in legislative intent.  In fact, as Gary Gross points out, it arguably contravenes state law.  That way, Dayton could order an election that would allow his union allies to force their way into day-care workplaces, including many independent operations, and start extracting dues on a massive basis.  To no one’s great surprise, day-care operators and workers found this rather offensive and sued in Ramsey County (the seat of the state capital) to bring an end to Dayton’s extreme union-expansion project.

I use the word extreme for a couple of reasons.  First, it fits; had Dayton succeeded in his imposition of public-worker status, the precedent established would have been so broad as to threaten the very notion of a private-sector workforce altogether.  Where would the limits have been?  Fast-food restaurants that take food-stamp debit cards?  Medical care facilities that accept Medicaid patients? Just as in ObamaCare at the federal level, it would be difficult if not impossible to find a limitation of power in that kind of precedent.

Second, it was Mark Dayton who used the word extreme to describe the right-to-work referendum currently stalled in the Minnesota legislature.  Dayton and his union allies, who very nearly got a big payday from Dayton’s abuse of power, consider it extreme to allow people the choice of whether to join a union while remaining employed, but not extreme to force independent babysitters into unions simply because some of their clients are on state assistance.  A poll taken at the time shows the right-to-work referendum to be so extreme that it’s supported by Minnesota voters by more than a 2-1 margin (55/24), and has majority or plurality support among all demographics — even Democrats and self-described liberals.

And yet, the state GOP seems intent on hiding from this issue by bottling up the bill that would put the referendum on the ballot in November.  Why?  According to a couple of sources, Republicans fear that having this referendum on the ballot will draw millions of dollars of union money into the state and make it difficult to keep control of the legislature.  However, unions are a little overextended already.  They’re fighting a losing battle next door to recall Governor Scott Walker, another in Arizona and Indiana over PEU and right-to-work reforms in those states, plus the spending they have to do to shore up Barack Obama’s re-election bid.  This is actually the best time for the legislature to put this question before the voters of Minnesota, and to finish the lesson on extremism begun by Judge Lindman yesterday.

Note: I’m still on vacation and will return full time on Monday, but I’m dipping my toes in the water this weekend.

Update: In describing the poll on the right-to-work referendum, I neglected to add the important qualifier “among all demographics.” The omission made it appear that a majority of either Democrats or liberals support such legislation.  In both cases, support gets a plurality.  I’ve fixed it above.


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Welcome Back!

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Happy Easter!

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Hope you had a nice B-day!

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

We took good care of the place.

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Couple commom sense judges trying to reassert rhemselves. Where you been for the last three years beyaches.

msupertas on April 7, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Guess no one has seen this yet.

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Ed Morrissey. I haven’t heard that name since the clone wars.

Welcome back!

WhatNot on April 7, 2012 at 11:37 AM

“Note: I’m still on vacation and will return full time on Monday, but I’m dipping my toes in the water this weekend.”
Same as being back. The water is starting to warm up nicely down here.

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Judge Dale Lindman declared Dayton’s order, issued Nov. 15, ”null and void….”

Isn’t there a judge somewhere who can do that with some of 0bama’s EOs?

Or better yet, his entire presidency?

UltimateBob on April 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM

This is about union greed, and the greedy unions are trying this in several states.

slickwillie2001 on April 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Why would independent in-home child care want to represented by unions anyway?

darwin on April 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Note: I’m still on vacation and will return full time on Monday, but I’m dipping my toes in the water this weekend.

Thanks Ed! Looking forward to Monday…

cicerone on April 7, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I agree, carpe diem, make them continue to spend. Congrats on what sounds like a victory. Work for hire is very helpful in creating jobs. Sorry union folk, but its true, works every place its tried.

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:46 AM

This is good news for MN! It seems dayton thinks he is bho with his little dandy eo pen and can do as he dang well pleases?
L

letget on April 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Washington and Illinois too: Rep. Darrell Issa Confronts Forced Unionism

Of course it’s the disgusting pigs in the SEIU.

slickwillie2001 on April 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

“This is actually the best time for the legislature to put this question before the voters of Minnesota”

Absolutely agree. The unions are stretched thin and hemorrhaging cash. Now’s the time.

crosspatch on April 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

This union thing sounds like a great idea. Daycare isn’t nearly expensive enough already.

forest on April 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM

And the difference between forcing me to join a union and forcing me to join a health plan is….?

CurtZHP on April 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM

That’s my governor, the sweetest smelling governor in America. Also the craziest.

Bishop on April 7, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Who’s this Ed guy?

Electrongod on April 7, 2012 at 11:51 AM

The American Labor Movement has a severe problem: the ever broadening consensus that it is a solution that has long out-lived its problem. In fact, like many other similar solutions, it has now become a larger problem than the original one it was designed to solve.
At this stage, it’s nothing more than a massive money laundering scheme designed to forcibly extract the hard-earned wages of its coerced members, and funnel the money into causes that very few of those wage earners believe in or support. Like the old slave plantations, the product of their labor is sold and the funds are used by their overseers to bind them ever more tightly in the servitude of their masters.
And all of this happens in a putatively free society?? Good Luck with that!!

Lew on April 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM

This makes absolute sense. While people have the right to associate, the state should have absolutely no right to force them to do so.

astonerii on April 7, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM

.
Wow! You’re the human equivalent of that dog welcoming his formerly-deployed soldier back that we saw on video a few days ago. Can you wag your tail?

ExpressoBold on April 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM

forced unionization

… the DNCs best long term strategy.
-

RalphyBoy on April 7, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Illinois did the same thing. No idea if anyone sued, but now there is a precedent to look to. Of course, nearly all of our judges are on the Dem/mob payroll, so…

Jaibones on April 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I hope you are having a great vacation, Ed, and Happy Easter to you and your family.

simkeith on April 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM

They’ve already done that in Michigan and the State Legislature just outlawed it. The SEIU has been collecting dues from daycare and in-home health providers for the past 3 years and pumped millions of dollars into the democrat machine in the state.

flytier on April 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Republicans fear that having this referendum on the ballot will draw millions of dollars of union money into the state and make it difficult to keep control of the legislature.

Spineless nebishes. Unions are financially weakened right now, and they will be pouring money (what they have left) into 0′s campaign in the summer/fall.

Lincoln chided General McClellan for not engaging the Confederates, saying “..if McClellan is not going to use the Army anytime soon, I would like to borrow it.” The MN Republicans need to be similarly chided for passing on this opportunity.

iurockhead on April 7, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Those cowardly legislators who are scared of union money are strategic idiots. When you’ve got an enemy on the ropes, you don’t let him regroup and just fight the battles he wants. You attack him on EVERY front, make him defend EVERYTHING! And almost always, a man or an organization that has to defend everything ends up defending nothing.

Attack, attack, attack! You can’t win unless you do!!! Who do these legislators think they are, the Minnesota Vikings?

Tom Servo on April 7, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Glad to see that saner heads have prevailed; that gives some hope for the future. Shame about not having the right to work initiative on the ballot; that is a strong enabler of employee choice. … after all, the libs are all about the right to choose, aren’t they?

AZfederalist on April 7, 2012 at 12:03 PM

ExpressoBold on April 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM

No. No tail. I am glad to welcome Ed back. The place isn’t the same without him. Plus everyone was slow to the gate. I was too. ; ) Oh and considering the things I’ve been called by folks on this site. Dog is a big compliment.

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 12:11 PM

The Governor of Connecticut issued two such Executive Orders… the day care workers and home personal care attendants have been unionized, law suits have been filed.

darkpixel on April 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

This failed attempt is similar to Obama’s MO in that it is both an attempt to avoid the legislature and an attempt to push more of our population into quasi government employee status.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Ha! What a jerk Dayton is. Good on Judge Lindman for ruling against forced unionization.

And, hey, Minnesota Republicans in the state legislature … take some deep breaths, man your battle stations and attack!

Welcome back, Ed and happy Easter! I was also on vacation myself this week. It’s always over before I know it.

PatriotGal2257 on April 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Ed hasn’t been around as much since he got that scooter. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence…

joejm65 on April 7, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Those cowardly legislators who are scared of union money are strategic idiots.

That is exactly the case! I know some of these guys very well and when it comes right down to it, they’ve just been there too long. They’re more afraid of “Union Money” than they are of their constituents. They’ve come to see those constituents as too stupid to think for themselves and too gullible to resist the propaganda that “Union Money” buys.
They are walking and talking advertisements for term limits!

Lew on April 7, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Welcome back & Happy Resurrection Day, Ed!

itsnotaboutme on April 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Dog is a big compliment.

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 12:11 PM

.
I agree! Mongrel, however, is not… I’d love to be able to have dogs again.

ExpressoBold on April 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Illinois is the corruption champion, but I gotta admit — you guys own Teh Crazy.

Jaibones on April 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

welcome back Ed. hope you had a great vacation!

ted c on April 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Only government can force people to join a union?

lorien1973 on April 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Frankly, i doubt even the legislature has the right to force someone into a Union.

pat on April 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Good for the judge! Welcome back Ed!

dogsoldier on April 7, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Look, I know I grew up in the South, and suffer from public education and all that, but ain’t an “Independent” Day Care Provider kinda like a self employed bidness? Who they gonna strike against? Themselves?

What’s that? The Unions just want to stick their greedy lil hands into the “Independent” Day Care Providers wallets for some mandatory union dues?

Oh, now I gits it . . .

BigAlSouth on April 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Notice how all this is going on in blue states? Notice how there are fewer jobs and higher unemployment in these same states? When will the good people who live in these states wake up?

Kissmygrits on April 7, 2012 at 1:15 PM

This isn’t the time for the Republicans to worry about union money. This is the time to BLEED the unions of money.

GarandFan on April 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Finally a sane judge in Monnesota-right on!To the GOP in MN-grow a pair and go full steam ahead with the RTW legislation do no become Californucated like them here in CA,irrelevant and sheepish,fight dammit fight!! BTW Ed welcome back and Happy Easter!

jeffinsjvca on April 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

By Dayton’s math, if I purchase a product or service from a private business, I ought to be able to go in and order their staff about as I please. It’s not credible that liberals actually believe that, so all that’s left is that it MUST be a case of attempted executive tyranny.

Murf76 on April 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Is he one of those “activist judges” barry was complaining about?

lonestar1 on April 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Hi ED! Hope you had a great get-away, and a belated Happy Birthday to you, sir. Welcome back.

………………………….

Governor Mark Dayton merely emulates the President of the United States. If 0bama can bypass Congress — Dayton figures he can bypass the Minnesota state legislature. Thank goodness for Judges that are not on the take and/or so deep in the tank for an agenda that they violate their oaths and their own conscience.

FlatFoot on April 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM

get outta here Ed, enjoy the vacay

cmsinaz on April 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Lights at the end of tunnel, the leader is back (almost), and another judge uses the law instead of personal politics.

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Note: I’m still on vacation and will return full time on Monday, but I’m dipping my toes in the water this weekend.

Stop it. Enjoy your last couple of days off! You were missed but seriously, we can wait ’til Monday for your wit and wisdom (and we’ve been behaving relatively well in your absence).

Happy Easter to you and the better half tomorrow. Now, go! Scoot!

Fallon on April 7, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Yup. Use Reagan’s “star wars” strategy to break ‘em economically like he did the Soviets.

tpitman on April 7, 2012 at 2:25 PM

…nice Bmore…and welcome back Ed!
When will canopfor come back to play?

KOOLAID2 on April 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Thank you Judge Lindman.

On the other hand, what the blank is wrong with the wimpy GOP? Geez, haven’t they ever heard the saying–strike while the iron is hot?

stukinIL4now on April 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Look, I know I grew up in the South, and suffer from public education and all that, but ain’t an “Independent” Day Care Provider kinda like a self employed bidness? Who they gonna strike against? Themselves?

What’s that? The Unions just want to stick their greedy lil hands into the “Independent” Day Care Providers wallets for some mandatory union dues?

Oh, now I gits it . . .

BigAlSouth on April 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Exactly. A day-care provider is a self-employed person, an independent contractor. The only ones who they would have a complaint about would be their customers. Then they tell them to take their child(ren) somewhere else. Jeez Louise.

Mirimichi on April 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I bet Rick Santorum is angry about this.

Swerve22 on April 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM

BTW the MN legislature approved Voter ID is to be on the ballot for a Constitutional Amendment and Gov Dayton can’t do anything about it.. Who would have believed that MN would be in the forefront of conservative and Constitutional issues. I remember the vile invectives laid upon us MN’s last year on HA.

MNDavenotPC on April 7, 2012 at 4:17 PM

First, Ed, thanks for linking to my Examiner article. This afternoon, while listening to NARN, I wrote this article, directing AFSCME & Gov. Dayton to answer a set of 8 questions.

Judge Lindman’s ruling was about more than a unionization vote, though that was of great importance. As Ed rightly notes, it was about upholding the principle of Separation of Powers.

There are lots of scary similarities between Gov. Dayton & President Obama. Chief among them is the willingness to employ ends-justifies-the-means tactics when the legislature doesn’t do what they’re told to do.

That’s why this election is vitally important. Giving President Obama another term would be a court fight from beginning to end because he’d try trampling the legislative process & the Separation of Powers principle.

Giving Dayton a DFL legislature would irreparably harm Minnesota’s economy.

LFRGary on April 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Ed Schultz must be so proud.

mike0993 on April 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Next thing on the Progressive wish list?……….Unionizing Parents?

This is a sick world full of lazy citizens, that don’t give a rats rear about the country.

How else to explain Obama at 50% approval?

God have mercy on us.

PappyD61 on April 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM

If they want to join a union they can. and being self employed they won’t suffer repercussions from it unless they are seriously disturbed as well as stupid.

Slowburn on April 8, 2012 at 12:49 AM

“losing battle to unseat Gov Walker”-
Last I saw, there was a poll he was up +2 and another he was down -4 pts. I hope you’re right, but this is far from a done thing.

babygiraffe on April 8, 2012 at 1:52 AM

BTW the MN legislature approved Voter ID is to be on the ballot for a Constitutional Amendment and Gov Dayton can’t do anything about it.. Who would have believed that MN would be in the forefront of conservative and Constitutional issues. I remember the vile invectives laid upon us MN’s last year on HA.

MNDavenotPC on April 7, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Just think what else might have been done to our state if Marty Seifert hadn’t acted idiotically by the way he made an issue of Emmer’s DWIs (it cost him the GOP nomination, and I think he would have comfortably defeated Dayton).

Bizarro No. 1 on April 8, 2012 at 5:00 AM

The American Labor Movement has a severe problem: the ever broadening consensus that it is a solution that has long out-lived its problem. In fact, like many other similar solutions, it has now become a larger problem than the original one it was designed to solve.
At this stage, it’s nothing more than a massive money laundering scheme designed to forcibly extract the hard-earned wages of its coerced members, and funnel the money into causes that very few of those wage earners believe in or support. Like the old slave plantations, the product of their labor is sold and the funds are used by their overseers to bind them ever more tightly in the servitude of their masters.
And all of this happens in a putatively free society?? Good Luck with that!!

Lew on April 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Not only that but Unions have become little else but funnels for funding yet more socialism in America with millions going to far left dem party affiliates year after year. They have become part of the problem not the solution.

rodguy911 on April 8, 2012 at 10:29 AM