Secret ballots

Voters in Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah last November approved state constitutional amendments guaranteeing workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

Friday, the National Labor Relations Board threatened to sue those states unless their governors and attorneys general agree not to put those constitutional amendments into force.

The agency’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said the amendments conflict with current federal law, which gives employers the option of recognizing a union if a majority of workers sign cards that support unionizing.

Really? The clear intent of voters was to block the goal of Big Labor and many beltway Democrats to install card check as a replacement for secret-ballot union elections, allowing unions to bypass such balloting whether employers or workers like it or not.

Mr. Solomon is asking the attorneys general in South Dakota and Utah for official statements agreeing that their amendments are unconstitutional “to conserve state and federal resources.”

Hey, good one. Kind of like “asking” a crowd to disperse in order to “save us the cost of bullets.”

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he believes his state is on solid ground. He plans to coordinate a response with the other three states.

“If they want to bring a lawsuit, then bring it,” Mr. Shurtleff said. “We believe that a secret ballot is as fundamental a right as any American has had since the beginning of this country. We want to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens.”

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley also promised to “vigorously defend our South Dakota Constitution” against any federal lawsuit.

Good for them. The Constitution also instructs the federal government to guarantee each state a republican form of government. We are enduring an era of high unemployment at least partially caused by counterproductive government interventions in the economy. At such a time, if the labor- dominated NLRB would like to have the U.S. Supreme Court review whether bypassing secret-ballot workplace elections somehow advances the “free choice” of workers, so be it.

The voters of the several states can then advise Congress whether they wish to keep funding the NLRB to bring lawsuits against them, at all.

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