This week, the Supreme Court is hearing a lawsuit brought on by non-union teachers in California which challenges the public union’s power to compel non-members to pay dues for collective bargaining.
Simply put: public employees shouldn’t have to pay for a union they don’t want to join.
The Supreme Court appeared ready on Monday to weaken public-sector unions by ending their power in more than 20 states to require workers to pay a fee for representation even if they decline to join a union. Challengers brought a case in California asking the court to overrule a 1977 precedent permitting unions to levy the charges in states that allow it, arguing the First Amendment prohibits government agencies from requiring employees to help fund a public union.
The issue is of significant importance to government unions in about half of the states, mostly Democratic-leaning, that allow the fees. The charges provide a stable source of support that has braced the labor movement against its losses in the private sector. The unions largely have supported Democratic candidates sympathetic to their goals.
Besides the inherent ridiculousness of public sector unions (imagine- public employees, employed by the government, negotiating with themselves….conflict of interest, anyone?), less money means less power for public sector unions to influence politics.
A ruling in favor of the non-union teachers in California would be a huge victory for individual freedom in the public sector. It would also strike a huge blow to public sector unions and their ability to sway elections at every level of government.
A final decision is expected to happen in late June. Let’s hope the Supreme Court does the right thing here, and rules in favor of the Constitution. Especially the swing votes- Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts, we are looking at you.