Supreme Court overturns forced union laws that require members to pay dues used for issues they disagree with
The Supreme Court dealt labor unions a sharp defeat Wednesday, ruling that teachers, police officers and other public employees cannot be forced to pay dues or fees to support their unions.This also has the benefit of making it harder for unions and Democrats to engage in an inherent conflict of interest whereby the unions support Democrat elections and then Democrats deliver pay raises to unions in a "negotiation" in which no one in the room is representing the taxpayer. It is one of the reasons why states like California, Illinois, and New York have bloated unsustainable public pension plans too.
By a 5 to 4 vote, the justices overturned a 41-year-old precedent and ruled that the 1st Amendment protects these employees from being required to support a private group whose views may differ from theirs.
The decision, in Janus vs. AFSCME, strikes down laws in California, New York and 20 other mostly Democratic-leaning states that authorize unions to negotiate contracts that require all employees to pay a so-called fair share fee to cover the cost of collective bargaining.
But today’s more conservative court disagreed and said employees have a right not to give any support to a union. These payments were described as a form of “compelled speech” which violates the 1st Amendment.
The anti-union National Right to Work Foundation, which funded the challenge, predicted the ruling would free more than 5 million public employees from supporting their unions.
For the unions, which traditionally support Democrats, the ruling will mean an immediate loss of some funding and a gradual erosion in their membership. Union officials fear that an unknown number of employees will quit paying dues if doing so is entirely optional.