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.”

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Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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