Labor Movement's Worst Nightmare Heads Back to the Supreme Court

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Seriously. As for the law, the Justices agreed Thursday to hear Janus v. Afscme, which could become a landmark case on coerced political speech and the First Amendment.

Lead plaintiff Mark Janus, a child support staffer at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Service, seeks to overturn the Supreme Court's 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

Public unions and worker advocates characterize challenges to fair-share fees as attacks on working people's ability to act collectively. Back then, the Court ruled that government workers could be required to pay their share of the costs of their unions' core activities, such as handling contract negotiations and grievances.

The NRTW Foundation filed the original case on the issue some 40 years ago (Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Education, 431 USA 209 (1977)).

California teacher Rebecca Friedrichs challenged her union in a similar case that went to the Supreme Court a year ago.

The merits of the case and the four-decade-long precedent are on their side, the unions said.

Pell said a union "cannot claim to represent the interest of all workers if there is ongoing doubt about the constitutionality of its forcible collection of millions of dollars in dues". NYSUT members see the value of being part of a powerful union - one that gives them a seat at the table and a strong voice in Albany to help them fight for competitive salaries and benefits, protect their retirements and defend their professions. A tied decision defaults to the lower courts, which ruled against the lawsuit.

On November 8, the Court will consider the issue of purging voter registration lists In Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Justices will look at an apparent conflict between federal voting statutes and state-based programs to maintain voter registration lists.

Pool  Getty Images
Pool Getty Images

Disputes over a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and partisan electoral maps top the Supreme Court's agenda in the first full term of the Trump presidency. "When I was hired by the state of IL, no one asked if I wanted a union to represent me. I brought this case on behalf of all government employees who also wanted to serve their community or their state without having to pay a union first".

Janus doesn't think AFSCME is working for the good of the IL government, he wrote in the Chicago Tribune a year ago.

Spakovsky says the Supreme Court should strike down the suit against Wisconsin, otherwise he says it will open the flood gates for all states to sue over political gerrymandering.

And if this case unfolds as expected, the widespread conservative belief that Donald Trump's impact on the federal courts outweighs numerous less fortunate aspects of his presidency will gain strength.

"President Trump said on the campaign trail that he's an advocate for LGBT people, but actions speak much louder than words", said James Esseks, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who works on gay rights issues.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday vetoed a bill that would prevent local governments from setting up their own "right-to-work" zones.

The court's decision is due by June. The public sector workforce was 34.4 percent unionized; the private sector unionization rate was 6.4 percent. In this case the union collects dues only from members who join voluntarily, and crucially also represents only members.

Hurricane Maria staying away from United States mainland
Look for a whole lotta sunshine out there again today with highs near 90 degrees and north winds around 5-10 miles per hour . As of 5 a.m., Maria was about 275 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and moving east-northeast at 8 mph.

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