Political Notebook

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Right-to-work judge is GOP appointee

When news broke Monday that a Lake County judge had ruled Indiana’s right-to-work law unconstitutional, the reaction was expected.

Online posters, bloggers and tweeters quickly denounced Lake County Superior Court Judge John Sedia as a Democrat shill for the unions.

The only problem with that narrative is he was appointed by former Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012.

Before that, Sedia was elevated to a magistrate position by former Lake County Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura.

She currently heads the Indiana Department of Child Services after being appointed by GOP Gov. Mike Pence.

Sedia in April ordered the Gary Community School Corp. to immediately lease an unused elementary school building to a local charter school according to state law.

And in Monday’s ruling he found against the right-to-work law, which prevents unions from collecting fees from non-union members to cover the cost of bargaining and other services.

Unions are required by federal law to represent workers in their bargaining units, whether they are dues-paying members or not.

Sedia said in his ruling that “there is no court which is more loathe to declare any state statute unconstitutional than this one,” but that he had “no choice but to find” that the law violates the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition against requiring services without just compensation.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.

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