What Janus v. AFSCME Could Mean for California

Protecting our communities means keeping our unions strong

If the justices rule for the plaintiffs, employees of state and local governments across the country will be able to opt out of paying union fees.

The issue is whether it is unconstitutional to require nonmembers to contribute to public sector unions they choose not to join.

Conservative anti-union interests are backing an IL government employee who says that being forced to pay anything at all violates his First Amendment speech rights. She said the impact could create "free riders" who could benefit from a union's representation but not have to pay for it.

Hundreds of union workers marched through downtown Pittsburgh Monday morning, as the U.S. Supreme Court was set to hear a case that could deal a painful financial blow to organized labor.

But less than a month later, Justice Antonin Scalia died and the court soon after announced its tie, in effect a win for the unions.

Republican President Donald Trump's appointment of Gorsuch previous year restored the Supreme Court's conservative majority.

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The union leaders are feeling pressure that they will lose support if the Janus decision comes down against them because they realize that many rank and file members are not in sync with the unions' policy directions. But the Senate took no action on Garland's nomination, President Donald Trump won the election and the union opponents rushed new cases to the court to challenge the union fee arrangement. Janus' lawyers note that these claims "turn, to a large degree, on self-interested judgments by union officials about how they and other union employees spend their time".

Justices heard arguments in a challenge to an IL law that requires government employees who choose not to join a union to pay fair share fees for collective bargaining purposes.

"If people don't have to pay anything, we're going to end up underfunding our unions, and eventually they'll be crippled by it".

"Does this case affect the political influence of unions?"

The essence of Janus v. AFSCME is this: a government employee named Mark Janus doesn't want to pay money to a union he disagrees with politically.

A decision on the case is expected in June. "What we're talking about here", he said, "is compelled subsidization of a private party that expresses political views constantly".

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She and others noted that the court in the past has said public employees did not have even limited free speech rights to criticize their agencies or their supervisors.

Martilynne Middleton, a business agent for Services Employees International Union, said employees can voluntarily donate a portion of their salaries for political purposes to the union's bipartisan Committee on Political Education.

The Daily Caller News Foundation is working hard to balance out the biased American media.

The child-support specialist said he grew frustrated when he joined the state government in 2007 and noticed a deduction from his paycheck to cover union fees.

A recent paper by Columbia's Alexander Hertel-Fernandez and two colleagues found that the Democratic share of the presidential vote dropped an average of 3.5 percentage points in states that enacted so-called right-to-work laws.

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