By Brendan O'Brien
Feb 20 (Reuters) - A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit
accusing former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis of overstepping her
authority when she rescinded a financial disclosure rule for
Backing the Obama administration, Judge Royce Lamberth of
the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on
Tuesday that Solis had the right to rescind a Labor Management
Reporting and Disclosure Act rule.
The rule, established by the Bush administration during its
last days in office, required unions with annual receipts of
$250,000 and more to report the sale and purchase of investments
and fixed assets, disbursements to officers and employees, and
itemized schedules of receipts.
The Bush administration said it established the rule to
create more transparency among big labor organizations and to
strengthen the Disclosure Act.
In requiring unions to report salary, benefits and deferred
compensation for union officials, the rule gave union members
and the public a more complete picture of the compensation
earned by union leaders, said Patrick Semmens, a vice president
at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which
helped file the suit in May 2011 seeking to undo the Obama
In rescinding the rule, the Obama Labor Department said the
Bush administration had underestimated the financial reporting
burden for unions and overestimated the public benefit of the
The named plaintiff in the lawsuit, Chris Mosquera, a member
of Local 1994 of the United Food and Commercial Workers in
Maryland, accused Solis of exceeding her authority. But Judge
Lamberth disagreed and dismissed the suit.
Semmens said an appeal is likely.
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys, who represented the
Labor Department in the action, were not immediately available
The case is Chris Mosquera v. Hilda Solis, in her official
capacity as Secretary of Labor, U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia, No. 11-950 (RCL).
For Mosquera: Glenn Taubman and William Messenger of the
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
For former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis: Kristina Ann Wolfe
of the U.S. Department of Justice.
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