Michigan Supreme Court hears major right-to-work case

Jan 13, 2015

LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Supreme Court has heard arguments in a case that will determine whether state workers are covered by a right-to-work law.

The law says public and private workers in Michigan can't be forced to pay union fees as a condition of having a job. The dispute at the state's highest court Tuesday centered on whether the law steps on the turf of the Civil Service Commission.

Unions say the state constitution puts the commission solely in charge of labor matters affecting state employees.

But in August, in a 2-1 decision, the appeals court said the law applies to 33,000 unionized state workers.

State unions have much to lose if the decision stands. The conservative high court has five Republican-nominated justices and two Democratic nominees.