Kentucky’s Right-to-Work Earthquake Reverberates Across State Lines
What happened in Kentucky is not necessarily going to stay in Kentucky. That’s because the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers districts in Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, and Ohio, issued a ruling in November that upheld the right of localities to pass right-to-work ordinances in the absence of state-level legislation.
The action began in Warren County, Kentucky, in the fall of 2014 with 11 other counties following suit.
The Kentucky counties argued that because the federal government has already authorized states to pass right-to-work laws, it follows that the counties are also permitted to pass right to work since they are creations of the state. Therefore, the counties argued, local right-to-work ordinances are permissible unless a state legislative body explicitly forbids them.
Jim Waters, president of the Bluegrass Institute, a libertarian, free-market think tank in Kentucky, said in a phone interview with The Daily Signal that Warren County’s decision to press ahead with its own ordinance certainly had an impact on what happened statewide.