We The People of Connecticut, Inc. v. Malloy
Legislation Mooted Constitutional Challenge To Executive Order
Appellate Law - Civil | Constitutional Law
- Connecticut Appellate Court
- AC 35143
- May 27 2014 (Date Decided)
- Beach, J.
Because Public Act 12-33 entirely replaced Executive Orders 9 and 10 providing, respectively, for elections of majority representatives of family child care providers and personal care attendants and to establish working groups to report findings regarding collective bargaining to the governor, there was no practical relief to be given the plaintiffs who sought to challenge the executive orders. In 2011, the legislature adjourned without voting on a bill providing a collective bargaining process for family child care providers. Governor Dannel Malloy issued Executive Orders 9 and 10, under which an election for the majority representative of family child care providers and personal care assistants occurred. Both groups selected the Service Employees International Union as their majority representative. We the People of Connecticut, Inc. and several individuals brought this action against Governor Malloy alleging that, by issuing the executive orders, Governor Malloy exceeded his authority and violated the principle of separation of powers in articles second, fourth and 11th of the Connecticut Constitution. They sought injunctive relief invalidating the orders. The legislature passed Public Act 12-33. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint as moot because the public act replaced the executive orders. The plaintiffs appealed challenging the finding of mootness. The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment, agreeing that there was no practical relief that could be given to the plaintiffs. Public Act 12-33, for purposes of the claims raised in this case, entirely replaced Executive Orders Nos. 9 and 10. The act established collective bargaining for the two groups and provided that the majority representatives of family child care providers and personal care attendants, as elected in Executive Orders Nos. 9 and 10, respectively, were to act as the exclusive bargaining agents without new elections. Even if the executive orders were rescinded, Public Act 12-33 would remain. The requested remedy would have no practical effect. The claim did not fall under the “capable of repetition yet evading review” exception to the mootness doctrine. While of public importance, the plaintiffs did not demonstrate that the effect of the executive orders, by their very nature, was of such limited duration a strong likelihood existed that the substantial majority of cases raising a question about the validity of similar orders will become moot before litigation concludes.