Giving Compass' Take:

• Jacob Huebert explains why a lawsuit has been filed against Minnesota's law that recognizes a single representative for parents of disabled children receiving benefits from the state.  

• How can parents receive efficient and faithful representation for their needs? 

• Learn about the Janus decision that prevents states from requiring teachers to join unions. 


The plaintiffs are eight Minnesota parents, each of whom provides around-the-clock personal care to a severely disabled son or daughter at home. To help cover their expenses and prevent their children from being placed in an institution, these parents receive modest financial assistance through a state-run Medicaid program.

In 2013, Minnesota passed a law authorizing the government to recognize an exclusive representative—that is, a union—to bargain with the state on behalf of these parents and others who receive benefits through the program. The state then recognized a unit of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as the caregivers’ exclusive representative—and it began taking money out of their Medicaid checks and giving it to the union.

Minnesota is just one of fifteen states with a law like this that authorizes a union to speak on behalf of people who aren’t government employees, who simply receive government money for services they provide to another private party.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that forcing caregivers like these to pay union fees is unconstitutional. But that decision only ended the forced fees—it didn’t stop the unions’ exclusive representation of these private citizens.

Bierman asks the Court to end the exclusive representation as well. Appointing an official representative to speak for a group of individuals, whether they want it or not, violates their First Amendment right to choose which groups they will and won’t associate with.

Read the full article about stopping Minnesota from unionizing private citizens by Jacob Huebert at Goldwater Institute.