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Iowa Supreme Court upholds law ending rights for some unions

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady, right, delivers his Condition of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Iowa Legislature, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a 2017 law that removed bargaining rights for many state employees.

Posted: May 17, 2019 11:33 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a 2017 law that removed bargaining rights for many state employees.

In cases filed by the Iowa State Education Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the court ruled 4-3 on Friday that the law withstands constitutional challenges.

Both decisions were written by Justice Thomas Waterman, an appointee of former Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who supported the new law. Waterman found the law rational and that it should remain in effect.

Justices concluded the Legislature was rational in giving certain public safety employees the right to bargain over many more issues than those in unions in which fewer than one-third of members are public safety workers.

The unions argued the law violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.

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