The Supreme Court of the Untied States finished its term with a whopper of a decision that has the whole left-wing of America up in arms because the court’s very last ruling delivered a blow that not only took unions down a notch, but also hurt the secret, backdoor fundraising of the Democrat Party.
For the last forty years the Democrat Party has had a sweet deal going with rules in right-to-work states and states with laws that make unions non-compulsory that forced employees to pay union dues even if they don’t want to be part of the union.
This isn’t just a sweet deal for the unions that end up getting money from people they didn’t even have to bother talking to or dealing with — much less fear their votes in union elections — but it was also a great deal for the Democrat Party.
After all, the Democrats passed rules allowing unions to steal money from workers and then the unions turned around and donated literally billions of that collected dues money right back to the Democrats in backdoor “contributions” to their political campaigns.
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What could be better? Unions get rich. Democrats get rich. And powerless workers can do nothing but groan under the government sanctioned theft of their hard-earned wages.
But, it looks like that gravy train has finally come off its rails. The Supreme Court just ruled that forcing employees to pay union dues against their will is unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision on Wednesday that requiring government employees to donate part of their paycheck to public sector labor unions violates those employees’ constitutional rights under the First Amendment, overruling a 1977 case to the contrary and dealing a severe blow to the power of government unions.
The Supreme Court in its 1977 Abood case held, despite strong objections by conservatives, that the Constitution permitted compelled union dues. As the justices has looked more to the original meaning of the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause in recent years, they have issued a number of 5-4 decisions increasingly at odds with Abood.
A state employee in Illinois objected to any part of his paycheck going to labor unions, which often support left-wing causes and politicians. Unions and groups affiliated with the Democrat Party argued that the requirement should be upheld because the unions’ negotiating activities secure higher wages and benefits for all state employees.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority that such a law, nonetheless, violates the First Amendment rights of employees who do not wish to be part of the union, overruling Abood. The majority rejected the state’s arguments that government employees had no free speech rights in 1791 when the First Amendment was adopted.
“We will not engage in this halfway originalism,” Alito responded.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion saying, “Under Illinois law, public employees are forced to subsidize a union, even if they choose not to join and strongly object to the positions the union takes in collective bargaining and related activities. We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.”
Illinois is the most corrupt state in the entire U.S., so it isn’t surprising that this case came out of the Land of Stinkun.
The decision cancels the theft going on in 22 states and puts a dent in the political activities of the unions. As Alito wrote (per NPR):
“In addition to affecting how public money is spent, union speech in collective bargaining addresses many other important matters,” Alito wrote. “We have often recognized that such speech ‘occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values’ and merits ‘special protection.’ ”
Alito dismissed the argument that allowing nonmembers to opt out of negotiating fees would allow them to unfairly piggyback on their dues-paying co-workers.
Janus “strenuously objects to this free-rider label,” Alito wrote. “He argues that he is not a free rider on a bus headed for a destination that he wishes to reach but is more like a person shanghaied for an unwanted voyage.”
Justice Elena Kagan essentially admitted it all. “Public employee unions will lose a secure source of financial support,” Kagan wrote in her dissenting opinion.
That is so right. And the Democrat Party will literally lose billions in backdoor, secret political donations that employees have been forced to pay whether they want to or not.
Democrats specialize in theft and this now mercifully eliminated rule is the perfect example of the corrupt bargain between left-wing unions and the left-wing Democrat Party.
All this is good, especially if it leads to pain for public employee unions.
To start with we should remember that government employees have not always been allowed to unionize. Collective bargaining for pubic employees only started in 1958 after New York Mayor Robert Wagner signed what came to be called “the Little Wagner Act” allowing city workers to unionize. In fact, collective bargaining itself was only legalized even in the private sector only in 1935 when Wagner’s own father, New York Senator Robert Wagner, sponsored the National Labor Relations Act, or the Wagner Act.
Nationally, collective bargaining for government employees began in 1962 when President John Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988 allowing federal employees to unionize and gain collective bargaining.
After unions gained collective bargaining rights generally in 1935 public employees were logically and rightfully excluded from that ability. In fact, even the patron saint of the left, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, stood foursquare against government employees having the right to collective bargaining.
Roosevelt was wholly against public employee unions and for good reason.
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations … The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for … officials … to bind the employer … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives…
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people … This obligation is paramount … A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent … to prevent or obstruct … Government … Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government is unthinkable and intolerable.
Public employee unions are antithetical to democracy and good government. Even Franklin Roosevelt, one of the worst socialists of our history, knew this.
The Janus decision takes unions down a notch and anything that does that is a good thing for all of us.