The Corner

Law & the Courts

Big Labor Expects to Lose This Time

Two years ago, the Supreme Court heard the Friedrichs case, which tests the constitutionality of compulsory dues or fees for public employees. Everyone thought the Court would rule in favor of the plaintiff — until Justice Scalia’s death. The Court split 4-4 afterwards, keeping the status quo of mandatory payments going.

A new case presenting the same issue is on the Court’s docket now — Janus v. AFSCME.

With Justice Gorsuch on the Court, it seems likely that the unions will lose. If so, millions of public employees would be free to decide for themselves if they want to pay anything for their union representation. A great chunk of the money that unions like AFSCME collect goes into leftist politics and causes. A win for Mr. Janus would puncture that big money pipeline.

I write about the case in this Forbes article.

Apparently, the unions anticipate a loss and are preparing for it by trying to dragoon workers into contracts that would make it very hard for them to exercise their rights. In Minnesota, the teachers’ union is hoping that members won’t read the fine print on an innocuous looking card. If they sign it, teachers will thereafter find it very hard to escape from paying dues or fees.

The plain truth is that public unions have always been a conspiracy with the Democratic party against the taxpayers. The sane approach is the one that North Carolina has held to — no public sector bargaining at all.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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