Democrat Supporting Labor Unions Just Got TERRIBLE NEWS From SCOTUS by Robert Gehl
The U.S. Supreme Court, now with its conservative majority firmly established, will take on a case that could finally cripple leftist labor unions who represent government workers.
Last year – without the seat filled by the late Justice Antonin Scalia – a similar case deadlocked 4-4.
The nation’s highest court agreed to again consider a free-speech challenge from workers who object to being forced to pay money to unions they don’t support.
With the conservative majority, the court could decide to overturn a 40-year-old Supreme Court ruling allowing public sector unions to collect dues from non-members in order to ostensibly cover the cost of negotiating contracts for all employees.
This latest appeal is from a state employee in Illinois. It was filed with SCOTUS just two months after Justice Neil Gorsuch took the bench to replace Scalia.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Union membership is now just over 10 percent of the workforce and private unions have been declining the fastest, the Associated Press is reporting.
Half of all union members are public sector members – meaning they work for federal, state and local governments. They are also largely in Democratic states like Illinois, New York and California – states that have been friendly to unions.
The Illinois case involves Mark Janus, a state employee who says Illinois law violates his free speech rights by requiring him to pay fees subsidizing a union he doesn’t support, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. About half the states have similar laws covering so-called “fair share” fees that cover bargaining costs for non-members.
Janus is seeking to overturn a 1977 Supreme Court case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, that said public workers who refuse to join a union can still be required to pay for bargaining costs, as long as the fees don’t go toward political purposes. The arrangement was supposed to prevent non-members from “free riding,” since the union has a legal duty to represent all workers.
A federal appeals court in Chicago rejected Janus’ claim in March. Gorsuch was confirmed in April and the appeal was filed in June.
The justices will hear argument in the winter.
In an open letter to the Chicago Tribune in January 2016, Janus explained why he is not interested in paying union dues.
I don’t see my union working totally for the good of Illinois government. For years it supported candidates who put Illinois into its current budget and pension crisis. Government unions have pushed for government spending that made the state’s fiscal situation worse.
How is that good for the people of the state? Or, for that matter, my fellow union members who face the threat of layoffs or their pension funds someday running dry?
The union voice is not my voice. The union’s fight is not my fight.
But a piece of my paycheck every week still goes to the union.
I am not anti-union. Unions have their place. And some people like them.
But unions aren’t a fit for everyone. And I shouldn’t be forced to pay money to a union if I don’t think it does a good job representing my interests.
What do you think? Could this be the death knell for unions in America? Sound off below!