Monday, March 5, 2018

End the First Amendment Exception for Public-Sector Unions

Gus Ruelas/Reuters
With Janus, the Supreme Court has a chance to right a 40-year-old wrong.
Bad law doesn’t get better just because it’s old. That’s especially true when that bad law violates a core principle of the First Amendment — that the government cannot, must not, compel the speech of free citizens. It can’t compel citizens to say the Pledge of Allegiance in time of war. It can’t compel citizens to drive cars with license plates that say “Live free or die.” And, “except perhaps in the rarest of circumstances, no person in this country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support.”
But don’t tell that to public-sector labor unions and their allies in state governments. For more than 40 years it has actually been legal, thanks to a dreadful Supreme Court ruling, to force state employees to pay substantial fees to public-sector unions to enable those unions to make substantial and consequential public-policy arguments about public-sector employment. That dreadful case is Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, it’s the cornerstone of the coercive power of public-sector unions, and on Monday it came under withering attack from Justice Anthony Kennedy.
It’s about time.
This week the Court heard oral arguments in Janus v. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, a case brought by a public employee forced to pay an “agency fee” to a public-employee union so that the union could bargain on his behalf. Some of the exchanges were extraordinary.
Read the rest from David French HERE and follow links below to related stories:

Public-Sector Unions Deserve To Be Destroyed

Supreme Court Should End Unions' Stranglehold On State, Local Workers

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