Supreme Court receives final brief in forced union fees case
The final brief has been filed in the Supreme Court in a case that will decide whether government employees should have to pay union fees to keep their jobs.
Mark Janus, a child support specialist in Illinois, has filed a lawsuit against the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for being required to pay dues to the union despite not being a union member and opposing many of the things advocated by the union officials. The final brief states the requirement to pay the union fees as condition of employment violates the First Amendment.
“Mandatory union fees are the largest regime of compelled speech in the nation, and it is long past time that public employees’ First Amendment rights be protected from being forced to subsidize union officials’ speech,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said in a press release. “We are hopeful that by the end of the Supreme Court’s term it will issue a decision ensuring that union payments for public employees like Mr. Janus are strictly voluntary, at which point the challenge will be enforcing those protections for millions of government workers.”
Janus is being represented by both the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Liberty Justice Center.
“AFSCME and the state of Illinois have not shown and cannot show that unions’ desire to keep taking money out of government workers’ paychecks is more important than the workers’ fundamental First Amendment right to choose which advocacy groups they will and won't support,” Liberty Justice Center Litigation Director Jacob Huebert said. “We’re optimistic that the Supreme Court will recognize this and restore workers’ rights.”
The Janus v. AFSCME case will be heard by the court on Feb. 26.