William Perry Pendley

After so much bad news from Washington, D.C., it is worth considering some good news. After all, America has seen its most leftward tilt ever; adoption of the trillion dollar stimulus package, and, thanks to the latest federal budget, a national debt that, this time next year, will saddle each American with a $40,000 liability. Meanwhile, President Obama named a tax cheat as his tax chief; Speaker Pelosi decried enforcement of the Nation’s immigration laws as “un-American;” and Senator Reid called Chief Justice of the United States Roberts a liar for allegedly portraying himself as a moderate during his confirmation (alas, it did not work; Reid voted against him), which followed Representative Frank, one of the architects of last year’s housing collapse, calling Justice Scalia a “homophobe” because he would likely vote to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, which passed the Senate 85-15 and the House 342-67. Not surprisingly, given Reid’s and Frank’s rants, the good news comes from three recent rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States.

In late February, the Court, voting 7-2, upheld the constitutionality of an Idaho law that barred public employees from authorizing payroll deductions for union political activity. After a group of Idaho public employee unions charged that the prohibition violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments, an Idaho federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck the ban’s application to local governments. In Ysursa v. Pocatello Education Association, Chief Justice Roberts declared, "Idaho is under no obligation to aid the unions in their political activities. And the State's decision not to do so is not an abridgment of the unions' speech; they are free to engage in such speech as they see fit. They are simply barred from enlisting the State in that endeavor."


William Perry Pendley

William Perry Pendley is President and Chief Legal Officer at the Mountain States Legal Foundation.

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