Lawsuits challenging Malloy executive orders dismissed

A Superior Court judge has dismissed three lawsuits challenging executive orders Gov. Dannel P. Malloy issued last year that allowed certain home care workers and child care providers to unionize.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of child care providers, home care workers and clients. Two were backed by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, and one was filed by Waterbury-based We, the People of Connecticut, Inc. They argued that Malloy overstepped his authority when he issued the orders.

But Judge James T. Graham wrote that the challenges were moot because the matters covered by the executive orders were later adopted into law. Even if he were to grant an injunction or order Malloy to rescind the orders, he wrote, it wouldn’t offer the plaintiffs practical relief.

Since Malloy issued the orders, both groups covered — child care providers and personal care attendants who receive state funds — voted to unionize. And legislators passed a bill giving both groups collective bargaining rights, one of the more contentious topics of this year’s legislative session.

In dismissing the lawsuits, Graham noted that nothing prevents the plaintiffs from challenging the law.

In a statement, We, the People Chief Legal Counsel Deborah G. Stevenson called the ruling incorrect, and said the court did not rule on whether the act itself was adopted improperly. But the group said it is considering an appeal, and that it considered its actions successful “in that they have put the Governor and state government on notice that violations against the Connecticut Constitution will no longer be tolerated.”