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Idaho Building and Construction Trades Council, Afl-Cio, and Southwest Idaho v. Lawrence G. Wasden

October 28, 2011

IDAHO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, AFL-CIO, AND SOUTHWEST IDAHO
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, AFL-CIO,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
LAWRENCE G. WASDEN, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE STATE OF IDAHO. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: B. Lynn Winmill Chief Judge United States District Court

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

The Court has before it a motion to intervene filed by Inland Pacific Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., a construction industry trade association with members in Idaho. The motion is fully briefed and at issue. For the reasons expressed below, the Court will deny the motions and not allow the applicants to intervene.

BACKGROUND

In this action, Plaintiff Idaho Building and Construction Trades Council, AFLCIO, and the Southwest Idaho Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO (collectively "Trades Council") challenge two recently enacted statutes: "Fairness in Contracting Act," codified as Idaho Code §44-2012, and the "Open Access to Work Act," codified as Idaho Code §44-2013. The Trades Council alleges that both laws interfere with the rights created by the National Labor Relations Act and are therefore preempted.

Proposed Intervenor IPC ABC is a construction industry trade association with members in Idaho and a key supporter of both statutes at issue here. IPC ABC seeks to intervene because IPC's members in Idaho "would be very detrimentally impacted if the legislation were not to take effect, and can provide the Court with the important and unique perspective of construction employers in the state of Idaho." IPC ABC's Br. at 2, Dkt. 34. IPC contends that project labor agreements and union job targeting programs have negatively impacted their contractor members in other states, and for this reason IPC ABC actively supported both the Open Access to Work Act and the Fairness in Contracting Act, including submitting written and verbal testimony to the Idaho legislature prior to the bills' passage.

On the basis of these interests, IPC ABC seeks intervention as of right and permissive intervention. The Trades Council opposes intervention on the grounds that the Attorney General would adequately protect IPC ABC's interests. Moreover, IPC ABC has already been granted amicus status and is free to present any additional arguments which it may have through its amicus brief.

LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 24(a) contains the standards for intervention as of right, and it states in pertinent part as follows:

Upon timely application anyone shall be permitted to intervene in an action: ... (2) when the applicant claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action and the applicant is so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the applicant's ability to protect that interest, unless the applicant's interest is adequately represented by existing parties.

The Circuit has distilled this provision into a four-part test: (1) the application for intervention must be timely; (2) the applicant must have a "significantly protectable" interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action; (3) the applicant must be so situated that the disposition of the action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede the applicant's ability to protect that interest; and (4) the applicant's interest must not be adequately represented by the existing parties in the lawsuit. Southwest Center for Biological Diversity v. Berg, 268 F.3d 810, 817 (9th 2001).

In general, the Court must construe Rule 24(a) liberally in favor of potential intervenors. Id. at 818. Moreover, the Court's evaluation is "guided primarily by practical considerations," not technical distinctions. Id. However, "[f]ailure to satisfy any one of the requirements is fatal to the application." Perry v. Prop. 8 Official Proponents, 587 F.3d 947, 950 (9th Cir. 2009).

ANALYSIS

1.Intervention as a Matter ...


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