Mandatory dues for leftist politics in crosshairs

Critics of AFSCME including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner have complained that the unions use dues to enter into a "corrupt bargain" with public officials whose campaigns they support in return for more generous pay and benefits.

Seeing a number of encouraging signs in other Supreme Court decisions over the past decade, opponents of these mandatory fees challenged the system in 2016 with the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

Public-sector unions have been a source of stability even as union membership has fallen to 14.6 million with 10.7 percent of workers as members, down from 17.7 million members, or 20.1 percent, in 1983.

Protester Josh Orton, a consultant for abortion-rights group NARAL, said if Gorsuch continues to make appearances that raise ethics questions "the Supreme Court will be in danger of losing its sacred reputation as a neutral arbiter of justice". Oral arguments are likely in January or February. The Michigan affiliate of the National Education Association, for instance, has lost almost 24,000 members since changes in its state law in 2012 (that's about a 16 percent reduction) and its annual receipts have dropped by about $10 million, according to records filed with the federal Labor Department. "The unions have just been waiting for the other shoe to fall".

The lead plaintiff, Mark Janus, is a child support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. "But I don't look at it that way". It's a fundamental violation of their First Amendment right to free speech and association.

"This gives the Supreme Court the opportunity to rule on the question on whether the government on any level can force it's employees to pay toward a union to keep their jobs." said Jacob Huebert, the head attorney on the case.

"This is a big deal, ladies and gentlemen, big deal", Rauner said, adding that his lawyers have predicted a "90 percent chance" of the ruling going in his favor, which he said would be "transformative for the state of IL, transformative for America and the relationship between our taxpayers and the people who work for our taxpayers".

Spakovsky says the Supreme Court should strike down the suit against Wisconsin, otherwise he says it will open the flood gates for all states to sue over political gerrymandering.

"You can't take any justice's vote for granted", Huebert said.

"This case is an especially poor vehicle to reconsider Abood's holding because it has no factual record", Madigan's brief said.

Supporters of the case explained: "These fees support work on collective bargaining agreements that enshrine policies like teacher tenure, last in-first out layoff rules, and school assignments based on seniority, not need". They argued the governor didn't have standing to bring the lawsuit because he didn't have to pay union dues or fees.

AFSCME characterized the legal effort as "blatantly political", and says overturning the legal precedent set in 1977 by a unanimous decision in a case known as Abood will cause both political and economic turmoil.

Weingarten said that "corporations, wealthy interests and politicians have manufactured Janus as part of their long and coordinated war against unions".

They claim was that such of their funds violates the First Amendment. The court deadlocked 4-4, setting the stage for the IL challenge.

Conservatives across America who now are being forced to pay dues to their employer's unions to fund the left-leaning activities of their organized labor leaders - even speech with which they decidedly disagree - are getting another chance to escape that burden.

  • Leroy Wright