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Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Against Compulsory Public-Sector Union Fees

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Against Compulsory Public-Sector Union Fees”

A week before the Supreme Court is set to begin the new term, justices announced Thursday that they are adding a big public sector union fees case to an already blockbuster docket. That ruling provided a massive boon to public-sector unions nationwide.

The case was brought by Mark Janus, a state employee in IL who objects to paying mandatory fees to a union that he has refused to join.

Public employees who do not belong to the union can not be required to pay fees the union would use for political activity like lobbying or union organizing.

"People shouldn't be forced to surrender their First Amendment right to decide for themselves what organizations they support just because they decide to work for the state, their local government or a public school", he added.

The justices will decide whether state government workers who choose not to join a union must still pay a share of union dues to cover the cost of negotiating contracts.

Claire Prestel, a lawyer for the Services Employees International Union, feared impact of the court ruling in favor of Janus.

But David Frederick, a Washington, DC lawyer representing the union says the agency fees are justified by the expense of contract negotiations.

Abood said a union may constitutionally spend money for expressing political views, such as the support of political candidates, but the spending must be financed from charges paid by employees who do not object to advancing the political ideas.

The Court last considered this issue in Friedrichs v. CTA, but Justice Antonin Scalia died before an opinion was issued, resulting in a 4-4 split.

The case, Janus v.

Eighteen state attorneys general signed a friend of the court brief by the Michigan Attorney General's Office, which urges the justices to abandon the "meaningless distinction between collective bargaining and other political activity". American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), presents the matter of forced union fees for public employees, something of a hobby horse for the Court's conservative justices.

The latest appeal is from a state employee in IL.



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