A conservative advocacy group wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower court rulings that have upheld public sector unionsí authority to act on behalf of nonmembers.

The Dec. 4 petition comes one day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a lower court order in favor of exclusive representation.

The appeals court rejected the Buckeye Instituteís contention it was likely to succeed with its argument that forcing public sector workers to submit to union representation is a form of compelled speech that violates the First Amendment.

The free-market groupís argument relies on the Supreme Courtís June decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The court held that public sector workersí First Amendment rights to free speech and free association are violated when nonmembers are required to pay fees to a union that bargains on behalf of members and nonmembers alike.

The Columbus, Ohio-based group is still litigating its case in the lower court on behalf of Kathleen Uradnik, a political science professor at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn., who challenges the Inter Faculty Organizationís right to exclusive representation.