Bloomberg Law
Oct. 3, 2022, 1:46 PM

Supreme Court to Review Who Decides State Militia Union Dispute

Robert Iafolla
Robert Iafolla
Senior Legal Reporter

The US Supreme Court accepted the Ohio National Guard’s request to consider whether the agency that oversees federal-sector labor relations also has jurisdiction over state militias.

The justices agreed Monday to review a US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decision that the Federal Labor Relations Authority can preside over a dispute between the Ohio National Guard and an American Federation of Government Employees affiliate representing its technicians.

The Supreme Court’s decision to take the case was limited to the question of whether the Civil Service Reform Act gives the FLRA authority over the dispute.

The Ohio National Guard went to federal court after the FLRA ruled that the Guard committed several unfair labor practices, including failing to bargain with the union, ending the automatic withdrawal of members’ dues payments, and announcing it’s not bound by federal-sector labor law.

Even if the Civil Service Reform Act does put the dispute within the FLRA’s jurisdiction, the Ohio National Guard argued, then that law is unconstitutional—an issue the justices said they weren’t deciding.

About a dozen Republican-controlled states led by Mississippi backed the Guard’s request for Supreme Court review.

The FLRA said in a brief that the Sixth Circuit correctly held that the Guard technicians, who have dual status as members of the state militia and as federal employees, are protected by federal-sector labor law.

The case is Ohio Adjutant Gen.'s Dep’t v. Fed. Lab. Rels. Auth., U.S., No. 21-1454, cert. granted 10/3/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Iafolla in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Laura D. Francis at