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Home / U.S. News / The Supreme Court Just Ruled That Government Employees Don’t Have to Pay Dues to Leftist Unions

The Supreme Court Just Ruled That Government Employees Don’t Have to Pay Dues to Leftist Unions

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory union dues for state government employees. Teachers, police officers, and other civil servants will no longer have to give money to organizations that espouse political views these individuals oppose.

From Fox News (emphasis added):

The conservative majority said a union’s contract negotiations over pay and benefits were inextricably linked with its broader political activities, and concluded workers had a limited constitutional right not to underwrite such “speech.” The case specifically examined union fees paid by non-members.

“This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a non-member’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”

While the current case applies only to public-sector employees, meanwhile, the political and financial stakes are potentially huge for the broader American labor union movement, which had been sounding the alarm about the legal fight.

How will this decision affect teachers like Rebecca Friedrichs, a conservative teacher in California? Friedrichs didn’t want any part of the money she earned going to a teachers union involved in leftist politics. Teachers can opt out of union membership in California but must pay a collective bargaining fee. She and seven other teachers sued the state for First Amendment freedom of speech violations.

Justice Antonin Scalia was alive when her case reached the high court but not when it heard arguments in 2016. The court deadlocked 4-4 in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

In an article in the Orange County Register, Friedrichs called the decision monumental.

“By overpowering the teaching profession, state and national unions have transformed our schools. Their negative impact is felt from outrageous sex education curriculums normalizing anal and oral sex for children, to activist teachers converting children into social justice warriors, to multi-million dollar attacks on school choice.

“Using fear tactics, unions are forcing teachers to strike in numerous states and have already labeled educators who choose independence as ‘union busters.’ Knowing most teachers appreciate the safety and community of their local associations, unions ensured locals were linked to state and national affiliates, so ‘opting out’ means leaving all three. So if teachers reject union politics in protection of kids, we lose the right to stand with our local teacher friends. Then we’re slandered as ‘free riders,’ enjoying all the ‘benefits’ without paying for them, and ‘anti-union,’ so our colleagues won’t trust us.”

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