Supreme Court Deals Major Blow to Public Unions, Rules in Favor of Non-Members

By Aaron Credeur – Re-Blogged From Independent Journal Review

In a ruling that deals a devastating blow to worker unions across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Wednesday that state government employees who choose not to become union members cannot be forced to pay union dues.

The 5-4 opinion cuts a significant source of income used by unions to negotiate contracts for both members and non-members in 23 states, drastically decreasing their political influence, according to NBC News.

A recent non-partisan study said that public employee unions would likely lose 726,000 members as a result of the decision.

The Supreme Court has long held that requiring non-members to pay the full cost of union dues would force workers to provide financial support to a group whose political activities they may not agree with, violating their right to free expression.

But an earlier court ruling decided that non-members could be required to pay part of the union fees as a way to prevent free riders or workers who get the benefits of a union-negotiated contract without having to pay for it.

That 1977 ruling was overturned with Wednesday’s decision.

President Donald Trump praised the decision shortly after it was announced, saying that it’s a “Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!”

The case was initially brought by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, who sued the state’s public sector union. Rauner later dropped the lawsuit but it was brought up again by Mark Janus, a state child support employee who argued that the dues violated his right of association by forcing him to support the union’s political and collective bargaining activities.

In a previous case dealing with the issue, the Supreme Court was deadlocked 4-4, but with the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017, the conservative judges on the court got the votes they needed to rule on the case.

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