Today CIR filed a preliminary injunction in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California asking the court to suspend enforcement of the state’s union gag law. The law prohibits public employers from making statements that could “deter or discourage” membership in public employee unions. Union activity often has far reaching consequences for many areas of public life, from local budgets to education policy, and Section 3550 prohibits officials from publicly discussing the impact of union activity on any of these areas.
The gag law has already infringed the plaintiffs’ freedom to speak about issues of pressing concern with their constituents, and their injuries worsen with each passing day. Laws that keep public officials from carrying out their duties on behalf of their constituents are rightly recognized as among the most egregious First Amendment violations. Until the court has the opportunity to void Section 3550 as unconstitutional, it should enjoin California from enforcing the law to prevent irreparable constitutional injuries.