Michigan Supreme Court says it won't rule on right-to-work law early

Jul 5, 2013

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court has unanimously decided not to step in early to decide the legality of the state's right-to-work law.

The court on Friday said it wasn't persuaded that ruling now would be an "appropriate exercise" of its discretion.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in January asked for an advisory opinion on the law that lets workers stop paying union dues or fees.

Snyder wanted the justices to especially decide whether the law applies to state employees who belong to unions and are under the authority of the Michigan Civil Service Commission. Contracts expire this year.

Since Snyder made his request, unions have sued in state and federal courts challenging the law. A lawsuit on whether the law applies to state employees is pending in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The governor's office issued the following statement on the court's decision:

"We're confident that the constitutionality and legality of the freedom to work laws will be upheld in the courts. The goal in making this request to the Michigan Supreme Court was to bring that clarity to this public policy as quickly as possible and avoid protracted litigation We respect the Supreme Court’s decision and will continue to defend the freedom to work laws in the lower courts."