CHARLESTON – West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse questions whether challenging the recent right to work law is more of a search for justice or an attempt to set public policy through the state’s judicial system.
WV CALA questioned when half of the state’s in the country have adopted similar laws, why opponents of West Virginia’s right to work law have chosen to go through the judicial system instead of the Legislature.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey issued a preliminary injunction against the right to work law this week, preventing the law from being applied, pending a full hearing on the legal challenge.
“From our point of view, mounting a court challenge to such a widely used law begs the question of whether this is judicial activism – or trying to set public policy through a courtroom rather than the legislature, which is supposed to be the forum for setting broad policies for the state,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA. “The legislature has spoken on this issue and courts across the country have upheld similar workplace freedom proposals.”
Stauffer said trying to set the state’s laws through courtroom decisions is an example of the challenges to the legal system that generate concern among members of WV CALA.
“This injunction creates uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the workplace freedom law passed by the legislature this year, and the law had already taken effect,” Stauffer said.
West Virginia Association for Justice President Jane Peak said the unions outlined what they believe were serious constitutional issues with the new law in their petition.
“I believe that the injunction is appropriate until the court can fully consider the concerns raised by the plaintiffs in the case and determine the law’s constitutionality,” Peak said.