Once upon a time, liberals scoffed at the idea that legislation needed to be constitutional in order to be lawful. Remember then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous response to the question of where in the Constitution did Congress have the power to pass Obamacare: “Are you serious?”
Well, after the U.S. Supreme Court scared the daylights out of the liberal commentariat with pointed questions about Obamacare’s constitutionality, it seems that opponents of Indiana’s recent right-to-work law are trying their hand at interpreting the text instead of the spirit of the document.
The Daily Caller summarizes the argument:
Indiana’s law prohibits employers from making union membership a condition of getting or keeping a job. The union’s February lawsuit claimed the law violated its members’ Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of “equal protection” under the law.
But an amended complaint filed on Wednesday added a Thirteenth Amendment claim as well. The new lawsuit suggests that when nonunion employees earn higher salaries and better benefits because of the union’s negotiation on behalf of its members, the union has been forced to work for those nonunion employees for free.
And being forced to work without compensation, the union suggested in its revised lawsuit, is slavery.
It’s the height of hypocrisy for union leaders who’ve spent decades coercing membership and dues from any worker falling under their legally-sanctioned monopoly to claim that economic enslavement only occurs when its members have to subsidize benefits other people don’t value.
In a sane world, the union’s lawsuit would be thrown out with prejudice as a waste of court time and resources.
But this is the Age of Obama. How much longer can it be before the Department of Justice and the National Labor Relations Board weigh-in with briefs defending the indefensible?