Supreme Court May Side with First Amendment, Not Unions

Additionally, states that want to enact right-to-work policies and those that want to have fair share fees should do so without the court interfering, said Saltzman, whose firm represents more than 30 unions, according to the firm's website. She said the impact could create "free riders" who could benefit from a union's representation but not have to pay for it.

The United States Supreme Court will hear the case of Janus v.

On Monday the court heard arguments in the challenge to an IL law that allows unions representing government employees to collect fees from workers who choose not to join. More than half the states already have right-to-work laws banning mandatory fees, but most members of public-employee unions are concentrated in states that don't, including California, New York, and IL.

The court split 4-4 the last time it considered the issue in 2016. The plaintiff is a State of IL employee and says he shouldn't pay dues to a union he doesn't agree with, writes WGN.

"The threat to organized labor is a threat to all of us, in particular to the Democratic party", Alma Hernandez, executive director of the Service Employees International Union in California, said to a roomful of union activists at the California Democratic Party convention.

President Donald Trump has expressed support for right-to-work laws and Senate Republicans have introduced national right-to-work legislation. "I am confident that they will side with free speech for the people of our great nation", Rauner said of the justices, following the arguments.

"The petitioner wants to vault over all of the break points in this court's First Amendment law with respect to public employees and go straight to strict scrutiny", Franklin said. "We're going to work hard to make sure that's not the case".

Union leaders said they support both union and non-union members indiscriminately, and losing funding could significantly weaken their ability to collectively bargain.

"It's been bad public policy".

"A pro-plaintiff ruling in Janus would also pose a logistical challenge for the large number of local governments, school districts and public authorities in NY that routinely withhold the equivalent of union dues from employee paychecks without distinguishing between actual union members and agency fee-paying non-members", the Empire Center report states.

"You're basically arguing, 'Do away with unions, '" Justice Sonia Sotomayor said to the attorney representing Janus near the conclusion of the hour-long argument.

City officials spoke out overwhelmingly against the case, and Supervisor Hilary Ronen announced that she would introduce a resolution during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting in support of union workers.

Janus and his lawyers say the mandatory payments violate his First Amendment right to not be compelled to fund political speech.

If the new ruling comes as the union leadership expects, it should not be entirely a bad thing for the union membership, even though the union leadership projects otherwise.

Fair-share provisions have been written into thousands of contracts for teachers, transit workers, municipal employees and others, said Justice Elena Kagan.

The Supreme Court has taken the Janus case under advisement, and will make a ruling at a later date.

The lawsuit was brought by Mark Janus, a resident of IL and an employee of the state as a child-support specialist. But they also fear losing, yes, political power.

At stake is the issue of mandatory fees, which supporters argue are necessary to prevent non-union members from receiving the benefits of collective bargaining without assuming any cost.

"It will perhaps result in our elected officials being able to pursue policies that have more the public in mind, and not just the public employees", Coupal said. "They can go straight to hell because we're fighting back".

  • Joanne Flowers