Right Hooks

Justices to Rule on Forced Union Dues

Jordan Candler · Jun. 30, 2015

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to add to next term’s docket Friderichs v. California Teachers Association, a lawsuit that could significantly loosen teachers unions grip over California and 19 other states. Because those states abide by the “closed shop” rule, collective bargaining requires that public teachers, even non-unionized ones, turn over portions of their paychecks to Democrat activists masquerading as unions. That’s not a bargain at all, which is why lead plaintiff Rebecca Friedrichs, a frustrated teacher veteran, filed a lawsuit two years ago to abolish the arbitrary system. Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, the firm representing the plaintiffs, said in 2013, “We are going to get this case to the Supreme Court and win, and if we do, we will eliminate the closed shop rules.” He was right about the first part, but we won’t know about the second for another year. But Reason’s Robby Soave believes that SCOTUS will get this one right. “The conservative 5-4 majority in 2012’s Knox v. SEIU essentially invited such a challenge, and the decision today by the Court to hear the case is a very good sign,” he writes. Furthermore, “A big win for Friedrichs could have massive consequences. California is just one of 20 ‘closed-shop’ states that require non-members to pay union dues. Compulsory unionization could be ruled unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds nationwide.” Recent rulings — namely on ObamaCare — caution us against high expectations, but unions have been put on high alert either way. Even an unfavorable ruling won’t silence the growing, vocal opposition to union contortions.

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