In a surprise move that could pose a major threat to organized labor — a key Democrat constituency that supports liberal candidates with vast amounts of campaign cash — the U.S. Supreme Court has just said it will hear a controversial case out of California. USA Today reports that the justices have agreed to consider the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, “challenging the requirement that teachers contribute to unions, even if they don’t join them or agree with their positions on issues.”
The USA Today article points out that, in the most recent case to come before the court in which the forced union dues have been challenged by people who don’t support what those dues have paid for politically, a sharply divided court ruled against the union policy.
“…the court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines that home-care workers in Illinois do not have to pay dues to public employee unions. The workers said the unions lobbied the government, often on issues the workers oppose — thereby abridging their First Amendment rights.”
In the California case that will bring the critical issue back before the Supreme Court in late fall, two lower courts have upheld the demand by the California Teachers Association that teachers contribute to the union, even if they don’t belong to the union or don’t agree with the group’s position of issues.
The Los Angeles Times article on the high court’s taking up the case notes just how important the eventual outcome of the matter could be to public employee unions and the causes, candidates and campaigns they support with massive amounts of money. What makes this pending decision even more critical is its timing as the 2016 election cycle moves into high gear.
The case is likely to be seen as crucial test of public employee unions, which have under political attack in several Republican-led states. The outcome may well have a political impact as well, because these unions have been reliable supporters of the Democratic Party.
The Times coverage notes just how much money the public-sector union collects from each member and non-member. “The lawsuit said full dues for teachers who join the union are about $1,000 a year, but non-members still have to pay about $650 on average for their share of the cost of collective bargaining….”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth