Attorney General Lynn Fitch on Wednesday led an 11-state coalition to protect the Constitution’s checks and balances that guarantee both security and liberty. The states filed a merits-stage amicus brief at the Supreme Court of the United States supporting the Ohio National Guard in its challenge to a Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) order enforcing collective bargaining for its Guard technicians.
“As has been the case with so many of the careful balances the Founding Fathers laid out in our Constitution,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch, “the federal government has been slowly tipping the scales in its own favor. With this brief, we take a stand against this continued erosion of the checks and balances that keep us both free and secure.”
In The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department v Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Ohio National Guard claimed that it was not bound by an expired collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3970, AFL-CIO, which had represented National Guard technicians. The FLRA asserted jurisdiction over the dispute, concluding that the National Guard is an executive agency and that dual status technicians employed by the Guard are federal civilian employees. On appeal of the FLRA order, a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the FLRA’s determinations that the Guard and its technicians were bound by federal labor relations law.
Detailing the historical trend eroding state control over state National Guard units in favor of greater federal authority, even for no legitimate military purpose, the Attorneys General write in their brief, “The decision below … permits the national government to exert day-to-day control over a state Guard. It mandates how an Adjutant General works with labor unions, bargains, and promotes. It allows this intrusion into state functions on matters unconnected to national defense or the battlefield.”
The Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia joined General Fitch in filing this amicus brief. A copy of the brief can be found here.See a typo? Report it here.