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Supreme Court to Decide on Power of Public Sector Unions

30 Setiembre 2017, 08:36 | Bibiana Flor

Supreme Court to Decide on Power of Public Sector Unions

Supreme Court to Decide on Power of Public Sector Unions

"This is an issue we've been working on for decades, so getting back to the Supreme Court is something we're very pleased about", he said.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have all addressed Federalist Society meetings, as have Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and John Roberts.

This will be the first full term for Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that it will hear an IL lawsuit that challenges the ability of public-sector unions to collect so-called agency fees. The free-ride argument is used against both lawsuits challenging mandatory union payments and right-to-work laws. That fee can only cover collective bargaining costs and not political activities.

"The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people", they wrote in a joint statement.

But President Donald Trump's conservative pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch, has since filled the vacant seat, and he is expected to bring the long-awaited fifth conservative vote that could strike a death blow to public-employee unions. The court issued a 4-4 split decision that left the existing system intact.

AFSCME argues that the Abood precedent should be maintained, because it prevents "free riders" from getting the benefits of union contracts without paying for them. The fees help pay for those efforts.


If the Court rules against the fees, it would overturn a 40-year-old ruling known as Abood vs. Detroit in which the justices said it was OK to require all public employees in a given union, not just members, to pay for the cost of collective bargaining and handling grievances. In doing so, they will turn every state in the country into a complete right-to-work state, constitutionalizing an issue that was previously the province of the legislature.

Public unions and worker advocates characterize challenges to fair-share fees as attacks on working people's ability to act collectively. While such workers are protected under the First Amendment from being compelled to contribute to union political activities they oppose, the fees that are collected still provide a large source of revenue for public sector unions.

"Agency shop" fees are those mandatory fees collected by unions from public sector employees. "It's not going to be a one-way deal anymore".

Attorneys from the foundation are representing IL child support specialist Mark Janus in the lawsuit.

In Carpenter v. United States, the Court will consider if the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell-phone records, which show the location and movements of a cell-phone user over a period of more than four months, is permitted by the Fourth Amendment.

"The office's currency and credibility before the court depends on it not being viewed as a political institution", Garre said.

The executive order was put on hold when a judge in Downstate St. Clair County ordered the state to keep passing the fees along while the matter continued to play out in court.


Rauner was tossed from the lawsuit, when a federal judge determined he lacked standing to represent the workers.

The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to listen to arguments in the "Janus" case.

The case the justices will examine in the coming months concerns Mark Janus, who works for the IL state government and sued the union, claiming he should not be forced to pay its fees as he disagreed with its positions.

Litigants are being represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Liberty Justice Center-two institutions financed by some of Americas wealthiest conservative-benefactor families, including the Kochs, the Waltons, and the Coors families.

Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, said Gorsuch's decision to speak at the hotel was disappointing because Trump's failure to divest hotels and other assets could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices met Monday to sift through hundreds of appeal petitions from the summer, and they said they would hear the case of Janus vs. AFSCME and eight others. "From the get-go, Justice Scalia changed the tenor of the court dramatically because he was such an avid question-asker", says Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.




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