Justices hearing big union-fees case

Jeralee Smith, a retired teacher, came out to support Janus in the case.

While this might be true, main supporters of this Supreme Court case say that workers should have the right to choose whether they pay union fees.

That's why I've asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the practice of forcing government workers to pay mandatory union fees. The case involves an IL state worker who decided not to join the AFSCME union that covers his job, but is being forced to pay a $45 per month "agency fee" to the union nonetheless. This time, all eyes will be on the new justice, Neil Gorsuch.

The court split 4-4 when it considered the issue in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

"Unions need to have a strong voice in this country and our voice is very valuable", Andrew Pallota, NYSUT President, said.

About 200 members from several unions, including University Professional and Technical Employees, University of California Student-Workers Union and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees called on the Supreme Court to rule in favor of unions in the Janus v. AFSCME case.

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.

Zapping unions' ability to collect fees from non-members would have a deleterious effect on them, weakening them overall and reducing their political muscle on shrinking a major base of Democrats, Axios reports. After Frederick replied, "Yes", Kennedy commented: "Isn't that the end of this case?"

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Janus's lawyers argued those contributions are a violation of the First Amendment because, even though those fees aren't allowed to be used for political purposes, the union's actions are inherently political. This basically says that due to the collective-bargaining process, the union employees have higher incomes than the non-union employees or right-to-work group, which may be true. "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 Trump administration is backing Janus' effort to overturn the 1977 court ruling requiring fair share fees from government employees. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and an IL man who says it's unconstitutional to charge him for belonging to a union workplace brought it.

Labor leaders fear that not only would workers who don't belong to a union stop paying fees, but that some union members might decide to stop paying dues if they could in essence get the union's representation for free.

That compromise could change with the current case before the court, and it could weaken the clout of public unions. I said, "I'm no 'artist.' I'm a reporter!"

Conservative justices Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy questioned the basis for the agency fees during the oral presentation.

In his legal brief, he included a passage that was directed at Gorsuch, who believes in following the "original meaning" of the Constitution.

Worthington says regardless of the outcome in Janus v. More liberal members said that states have broad leeway in managing public workplaces.

  • Rita Burton