ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A pair of cases with a major bearing on a new union for thousands of Minnesota personal care attendants is in the hands of federal appeals judges.

Two 8th Circuit Court of Appeals panels heard challenges Wednesday to Minnesota's law that led to a union for home-care workers for the disabled and elderly.

It's a new chapter in a years-long fight by union opponents, who argue the Service Employees International Union shouldn't have been allowed to organize the workers. Foes told judges that doing so infringes on First Amendment association rights of personal care attendants who didn't want a union.

But advocates say the law enabling the union was properly passed and a resulting contract will stabilize an industry with low pay and high turnover.

Decisions are likely months off.