The Supreme Court has ruled against Big Labor in Janus v. AFSCME. The justices were 5-4 in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois Department of Healthcare and Human Services employees, deciding that unions can not force public sector workers to pay union dues. These “agency fees,” the Court concluded, are a violation of employees' First Amendment rights.
Janus argued that the $45 monthly fee to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees he was forced to pay was akin to "forced speech." Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the Court's opinion, agreed.
"Compelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned," Alito wrote.
Janus is now considered the most significant court decision affecting collective bargaining rights in decades.
President Trump cheered the Court's decision.
Supreme Court rules in favor of non-union workers who are now, as an example, able to support a candidate of his or her choice without having those who control the Union deciding for them. Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, and EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, were just as pleased.
“Today’s decision is a landmark victory for rights of public-sector employees coast-to-coast that will free millions of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees from mandatory union payments," Mix said in a statement. "While this victory represents a massive step forward in the fight to protect American workers from forced unionism, that fight is far from over. Union officials and their allies in state government have already taken steps to prevent workers from exercising their rights under the Janus decision, while millions of private sector workers in states without Right to Work protections are still forced to pay union fees or else be fired. Further, workers of all stripes continue to have their freedoms of association violated by being forced under union monopoly ‘representation’ against their will. So while we celebrate today’s decision, there remains much work to do to both enforce and expand upon this historic victory over coercive unionism.”
“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of teachers and other public sector employees, recognizing their right under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to decide whether to join or otherwise support a union," said EdChoice Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner. "Just as we support the right of parents to choose how and where their children are educated, we support the right of teachers to choose whether to support a union at the schools where they teach our children."
You can read the Court's full ruling here.