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Arizona "Secret Ballot Amendment" Upheld

Workers in Arizona are more free today after a judge upheld the Arizona anti-card check law. The “Secret Ballot Amendment” was adopted by Arizona in 2010 and gave workers the chance to vote on unionization through a private ballot. The alternative is to have workers sign a card in public. With a public vote, the chance of intimidation and coercion by unions is much greater. Because workers would be free to vote as they wished with a secret ballot, the amendment had the very real potential of reducing unionization, causing labor unions to fight the law. Big labor, as expected, did just that.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed suit against the state of Arizona to have the law overturned, ending secret ballots in that state. The NLRB is a federal agency appointed by Whit House and Congress, and has close ties to President Obama. Today, Federal District Judge Frederick Martone dismissed the challenge in summary judgement, which means that the case was decided without trial.

A press release from The Goldwater Institute, which helped to write the law, stated that “Today’s ruling is a huge victory for federalism and the authority of states to protect the rights of their citizens...In the backdrop of continued power grabs by federal agencies like the NLRB, this ruling affirms that vital protections such as the right to secret ballot can remain in place.”

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office released a statement saying that the ruling was “A rebuke to a 2011 Obama administration demand calling for Arizona to repudiate the voter-approved protection of secret balloting in union elections.” Although Arizona voters wanted secret ballots, the NLRB tried to strong-arm the state into overturning the will of the people. The NLRB may still appeal the decision, but today was a big victory for freedom in the workplace.