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AFSCME files Janus brief

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Press release…

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) submitted today its brief on the merits of the corporate-backed Supreme Court Case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

Enclosed you will find the merits brief that AFSCME submitted to the Supreme Court today, along with a summary of this brief. If facts, law, and precedent matter, all nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of working people in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 – just as they did more than 40 years ago when they found the state and local governments’ system of ordering their labor relations to be constitutional.

Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 is nothing more than a politically-motivated assault on the freedom of working people to earn a better life and an attempt to further rig the rules in favor of billionaires and corporate interests. In these turbulent times, marked by division and attacks on fact and reason, we hope the Supreme Court will consider carefully the facts, precedent, decades of labor peace and stability, and the motivations behind those seeking to undo it.

Now more than ever in the modern era, Americans must be able to trust their governmental institutions. Just as millions of Americans who rely on public service workers to keep their water clean, care for their families in hospitals, and respond to their emergencies quickly and professionally, millions of public service workers now rely on nine Supreme Court justices to decide this case on its merits — not on the ideological animus of the billionaires and corporate interests who are funding this blatant effort to silence the voices of workers.

The brief is here.

* From its introduction

In Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), this Court confirmed the constitutionality of “fair-share fees” to finance collective-bargaining activi- ties of unions obligated under state law to represent both union members and non-members. Abood should be reaffirmed.

Abood accords with the First Amendment’s original meaning, which afforded public employees no rights against curtailments of free speech in the workplace setting. Overturning Abood would thus mark a radical departure from the original understanding of the Constitution. Abood also aligns with more recent jurisprudence deferring to government management decisions by upholding public employers’ rights to limit employee speech as contrasted with citizen speech. This Court’s application of Abood to other non-employment contexts highlights its stature as foundational First Amendment precedent.

Nearly half the States have relied on Abood in their labor-relations systems. Currently, 22 States permit fair-share fees for public employees, two (Michigan and Wisconsin) permit agency fees for some public employees, and 26 States prohibit fair-share fees or public-sector collective bargaining completely. As this diversity of viewpoints reflects, the Framers’ design functions well when States are “laboratories of democracy.” State legislatures often debate these issues and periodically change their policies. Overruling Abood would remove this issue from the people and their elected representatives and override their policy judgments about managing public workforces.

Petitioner asks this Court to upend the collective-bargaining systems of many States – in a jurisdictionally flawed case without any record – based on numerous unsupported and inaccurate factual assertions. For example, petitioner claims all collective bargaining is inherently political and employees choose not to join unions because they object to the union’s collective-bargaining positions. Those assertions are false – and unsupported by an evidentiary record.

This Court’s jurisprudence should rest on evidence, not fiction, and arise out of cases over which the Court has subject-matter jurisdiction, which is lacking here. If the Court considers re-evaluating Abood necessary, it should await a case with a factual record that does not require overruling or ignoring a century-old jurisdictional rule.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

80 Comments
  1. - Rutro - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    DOA. Afscme is going the way of Kodak, better start adapting.


  2. - City Zen - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    “Just as millions of Americans who rely on public service workers to keep their water clean…”

    Is AFSCME now serving in the role of compliance manager and verifying certifications and licensing under the Clean Water Act?


  3. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    Good luck AFSCME.


  4. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    I still do not see how anyone’s 1st Amendment rights are being violated. Nobody is being forced to support AFSCME because nobody is forced to join AFSCME. You aren’t required to take an AFSCME covered job. You still have freedom of choice in jobs you choose to take.


  5. - Deadbeat Conservative - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    If the premise of the Janus case carries the day, then Mark will be free to start will negotitating a better salary on his own than the $70k plus he recieves as a clerk.

    The fact that the USC even agreed to hear the ridiculous strawman indicates that the days of the union may be numbered.


  6. - Rutro - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    @ Demoralized;
    “Nobody is being forced to support AFSCME because nobody is forced to join AFSCME”
    ahhh, yes they are. That’s the point. Saying they don’t have to take an Afscme job, well…, good luck with any justice on that one.


  7. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    ==ahhh, yes they are==

    Ahh, no they aren’t. I’d be interested to know where this place exists that requires you to take certain jobs.


  8. - Skeptic - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    “ahhh, yes they are” You don’t like the Catholic church’s stance on Abortion and Same-sex marriage? Then don’t take a job with the Catholic church. See how easy that is?


  9. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    ==“You don’t have to take a job where sexual harassment/discrimination occurs in the workplace. There are plenty of jobs where it doesn’t occur.”==

    That is perhaps one of the dumbest retorts I’ve ever heard to this topic.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    Rauner is running for re-election on the premise that the US Supreme Court will rule in Janus’ favor.

    Rauner told the Trib, that’s what will be different in a second term. Janus.

    No infrastructure, higher education funding, nothing budgetarily measured…

    Janus.

    What if Rauner doesn’t get all he wants in this ruling?

    “Speaker Madigan and the split Supreme Court wins he controls”?

    If anything, this case IS Rauner.

    Rauner “isn’t in charge”, and has no desire to be in charge unless it’s to destroy labor.

    The rest is nothing… including Illinois.


  11. - Sue - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    Demoralized - come sometime in Zjune you are going to be very demoralized. But for the passing of Scalia- the law would already be resolved on this issue


  12. - Retired Educator - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    When I chose my profession I was aware of union membership within that particular profession. I am at a loss to explain how someone who took what they knew was a union job, was surprised to find out they would need to join the union. If you are someone who does not feel fair share is right, you have several options. Find a new profession, work in a position where the union requirements are not necessary, or pay the fee and do your job. A fourth suggestion would be become aware that you can’t always get your way, and you sometimes need to adapt. Simple logic dictates, you took the job, fulfill all the requirements.


  13. - Chris Widger - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    ==A fourth suggestion would be become aware that you can’t always get your way, and you sometimes need to adapt. ==

    Ah, yes, the “stop being a baby” exception to the First Amendment.

    The government cannot compel people to engage in political speech. Money is speech (see Citizens United). Public-sector union members work for the government. Agency fees support political speech. It’s really as simple as that.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===Agency fees===

    Define agency fees…


  15. - Nick Name - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    Chris Widger is the guy who said in another thread today that he’s perfectly fine with politicians “willfully lying.” Keep that in mind when responding to him.

    https://tinyurl.com/ybplknjg


  16. - Perrid - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:32 pm:

    IDK, I think the Court is going to side against the union here. I might even agree with that decision. I don’t agree that the union is evil incarnate like many do, I think that most disparities between state and private worker’s benefits would best be solved by MORE unionization in the private sector, however if a worker does not want all of the benefits that the union provides then they should not be forced to pay for those benefits to keep their job. I don’t like the consequences of that decision, I don’t like the power that gives already powerful people at the expense of workers, but I think it’s probably the right call.


  17. - Retired Educator - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    Widger do us all a favor and spin your own comments. Mine stand on there own, and don’t really need your definitions. If you have a point, please make it, if not; “Don’t go away mad, just go away.”


  18. - Reality Check - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    The government cannot compel people to engage in political speech.

    That is exactly why no one is required to join the union, and why instead the fair share option exists. Fair share fees do not pay for political or lobbying activities.


  19. - Chris Widger - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    ==Chris Widger is the guy who said in another thread today that he’s perfectly fine with politicians “willfully lying.” Keep that in mind when responding to him.==

    I’m not fine with it, but if my standard is “Don’t repeatedly lie to me,” what choices do I have other than trying to move to an ungoverned part of the world?


  20. - Perrid - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    @Reality Check, the collective bargaining affects the budget/debt which affects policy, ergo collective bargaining has political ramifications. Saying all of IL’s problems is the union’s fault is incredibly reductive and simply not true, but saying the strong unions have increased government spending and thus changed policy is true. You can think that that extra spending is good policy, but that’s a political opinion.


  21. - Belle - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    The problem is that the union is FORCED to represent all employees whether they are fair share or full dues payer

    If you don’t want to pay the union for the benefits they provide for you then don’t. But you shouldn’t get them for free
    If youre not willing to pay , The union shouldn’t have to bargain on your behalf for wages. Healthcare vacation time. Etc etc

    It’s very simple


  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    Oh…

    ===- Chris Widger - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:47 pm

    ==Chris Widger is the guy who said in another thread today that he’s perfectly fine with politicians “willfully lying.” Keep that in mind when responding to him.==

    I’m not fine with it===

    Then…

    === - Chris Widger - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 10:36 am

    She’s definitely willfully lying, which I don’t necessarily think is a drawback.===

    Hmm.

    Consistency isn’t your forte..


  23. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    As stated by another poster, fair share fees don’t go for political expenses or donations. They compensate the union for its work on behalf of fair share employees. If Janus succeeds, fair share may go away. But I bet the court also rules that unions can no longer be forced to represent people who aren’t willing to pay the fee. You shouldn’t be able to get
    something for nothing. GOP Party voters should totally agree
    with that premise. See how that’s worked for merit comp employed that last 10 years or so.


  24. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    Scalia himself questioned whether government employees have unlimited free speech at work, if I remember right. I think he used an example of a police officer who goes to his/her supervisor’s office too many times to ask for a raise that won’t be issued. Can the supervisor tell the officer to stop annoying the supervisor and thus place a limit on speech? I think there isn’t unlimited free speech anyway.

    Plus, in no way can unions guarantee that the views of their leaders who endorse candidates will win politically. The fact that Bruce Rauner is governor and Republicans control all branches of federal government proves that anti-union workers’ political speech is not harmed by unions.


  25. - RD55 - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    Chris Widger so all money is speech? If I buy and apple does that mean I support Madigan? What if the state buys a ton of apples? What political speech is uttered when the state pays an employee? Fair Share dues do not pay for the political speech of the union. The cost of labor is no more political than the state’s purchase of apples. Unless you believed an increase in the cost of apples is political speech. Simple, nope.


  26. - RD55 - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:06 pm:

    City Zen you might want to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of the IL EPA with regard to the Clean Water Act as well as the number of non-private public water treatment plants throughout the state that are operated by union employees.


  27. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    == you are going to be very demoralized==

    Why? I’m simply making an argument that I don’t believe that anybody’s 1st Amendment rights are being violated. I know the Court disagrees with me.

    I’m sure a union hater like you is absolutely giddy about this.


  28. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:09 pm:

    ==The government cannot compel people to engage in political speech.==

    They aren’t. You still have not answered how anyone is forced to take a job.


  29. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    Government office workers don’t need unions. It’s gross


  30. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==It’s gross==

    Thank’s for that insight Mr. Wizard. You’re leaving brain cells all over the place.


  31. - City Zen - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==You aren’t required to take an AFSCME covered job.==

    Why does AFSCME own the coverage? Do they pay licensing fees to the state for exclusive representation rights? What if I want the Teamsters to represent me instead?


  32. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    ==What if I want the Teamsters to represent me instead?==

    There are plenty of jobs represented by the Teamsters. Go get one of those. Problem solved.


  33. - RD55 - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    City Zen @11:50, you might want to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of the IL EPA with regard to the Clean Water Act as well as the number of public water treatment plants throughout the state that are operated by union employees.


  34. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:18 pm:

    Saying no ones’s rights are be violated because no one is forced to take a job is a pathetic legal argument.

    No one forced minorities to eat at certain southern diners either. So I guess their rights weren’t violated by refusal of service?


  35. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    Robert:

    That is a ridiculous argument. Not even close to be comparable.

    You tell me Robert where the place exists that anyone is forced to take a job. Can’t? I didn’t think so.


  36. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    Robert, I’m sure Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we are about to celebrate, would not appreciate that analogy - particularly since he was in Memphis helping striking AFSCME garbage workers the day he was shot.


  37. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    It is a ridiculous argument. You’re the one making it. You don’t understand the whole “but this is different” argument doesn’t work in the application of law.


  38. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    Robert:

    The analogy is ridiculous and you know it.

    Again Robert I ask you. Where does the place exist that you are forced to take a job?


  39. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    Fine. I’ll stick with gay wedding cakes from bakeries no one is forced to shop at.


  40. - Just curious - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    Govt office workers absolutely need unions

    I think the fact that they are the first ones to get yanked around by both political parties for whatever political wind is blowing day by day shows they would be vulnerable every day of their employment. Someone needs to hold the politicians accountable for some consistency and fairness


  41. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:29 pm:

    You’ll eventually come up with an analogy that is, you know, is analogous to the topic right?


  42. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    ==Why does AFSCME own the coverage?==
    A little thing called democracy. AFSCME made their case to a group of workers, the workers voted to have AFSCME represent them.


  43. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    If your legal argument is no one is forced to do anything, therefore no right could have been violate, then both my two cases are perfect examples of how wrong you are.


  44. - State worker - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    Unions can’t bargain for raises and better working conditions on behalf of workers for free. Fair share fees are a fraction of the dues that members pay. No political activities are paid for from fair share.

    The goal is busting unions. Period. And this will be devastating to many more union members than AFSCME.

    The evidence shows that people will stop paying full union membership not because they don’t support the union, but because they need the extra bit of money. That means they need a union.


  45. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    So, denying service based on race or sexual orientation is the same as deciding whether or not to take a job? I don’t think so. Not even in the same ballpark.


  46. - Joe M - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:33 pm:

    There are many examples in government and life where the majority rules, and the rest have to go along. If they majority at a workplace vote to have a union, then there is a union. However, workers are not required to join that union.

    The union though at that workplace is then required by Illinois law to also represent even those who don’t want to join the union. Its only fair that those who chose not to join the union, at least pay for that representation.


  47. - City Zen - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    RD55 - Does AFSCME train these employees on IL EPA and Clean Water Act compliance or does the government?


  48. - anon2 - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    Conservatives pay fealty to original intent and to precedent. In this case, they ask the SCOTUS to discard both original intent and precedent to reach the result they want. Which is what they accuse liberals of doing when it comes to constitutional interpretation. Maybe original intent matters to conservatives only when it’s convenient, not as a matter of principle.


  49. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    Robert- the bakers and restaurant owners served the public- the entire public. They dont have the right of refusal to serve that public just because they don’t want to.
    Now, if they don’t want to serve the public…. they can decide to be a members only restaurant dining club, and charge a fee and have a Membership application. They they can limit their service to club members. This is still not a Good analogy cause unions are required to serve fair share non members.

    Get a clue.


  50. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    I guess the Supreme Court will give us a clue in a few months.


  51. - EveryoneElse - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    =A little thing called democracy. AFSCME made their case to a group of workers, the workers voted to have AFSCME represent them.=

    While this would be true for private-sector labor, it’s inaccurate with public-sector unions. In the public sector, bargaining units are certified by the LRB and unions bid to represent them.


  52. - UniversityWorker - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    So what are all these people that like the benifits the Union has negotiated and the wages that have been negotiated going to do when the Union is gone and so are the benifits and the wages. Because once the contract is void management can take away personal time can do wage deductions. OR worse just let go the ones they don’t like with no probable cause. Tell me they can’t because they can and they will. UNION STRONG


  53. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    City Zen the union helps to establish qualifications for job titles, requirements for appropriate training of employees so they can perform their work, and provide some protection from political interference. No, it is not perfect by any measure, but would you prefer that the governor’s unqualified second cousin who needed a job, perform oversight of your city’s water treatment plant?


  54. - Just curious - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    The workers will need to ask themselves …

    Is it worth losing pay health insurance. Perhaps a job over a few hundred dollars a year. Reduced pension

    Think about how much you could lose if there is no union. I think the few hundred dollars a year is a bargain


  55. - Cheetos - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    ==Government office workers don’t need unions. It’s gross==

    You obvviously never worked in a government office…
    What’s gross is the mischief of some of the politically appointed mgt. perpetrated against workers and taxpayers.


  56. - Reality Check - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    @Everyone Else that’s false.

    In Illinois in the public sector, workers can form a union by a majority vote or, if the employer agrees, a majority signing authorization cards. Either way, workers decide by majority rules (democracy! neat) and the LRB certifies their choice.


  57. - anon - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    Belle, “The problem is that the union is FORCED to represent all employees whether they are fair share or full dues payer” My understanding is that this is a desired feature sought by unions to preserve exclusivity.


  58. - Perrid - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    Demoralized and others, I see your point that taking a union job is a “choice”, where skin color or sexual orientation are not, but at the same time employment is not really optional. People need to eat. The law saying “Financially support these decisions that have strong influence on the politics of the State If you want this job and therefore be able to support yourself” is problematic.


  59. - City Zen - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    ==My understanding is that this is a desired feature sought by unions to preserve exclusivity.==

    Correct, and this exclusivity is worth far more to the unions than the cost of being forced to represent all employees.


  60. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    ==My understanding this is a desired feature, sought by unions to preserve exclusivity.==
    It IS a desired feature. Is is part of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and was designed to nullify the Wagner Act and crush collective barganing.


  61. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    Truman vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act, but antiunion Congress prevailed. This is why I doubt the Supreme Court will amend Taft Hartley as someone suggested above, just to be fair or nice. It’s about being the opposite.


  62. - Rutro - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    @ University worker, do you mean “just cause”?

    Comparing the Catholic Church to the goverment is hilarious, but that doesn’t even work in Ireland anymore.

    Also, saying you should pick another job is a weak weak answer and while you’re right, I can’t think of an indentured servitude example. I know people need jobs, for money to buy food and housing. Is you’re argument, if you don’t want afscme to rep. you, but you want to work for DCFS, you should move to another state where their DCFS is non-union? Right? If so, I respectfully think that’s a loser argument.

    I’m not a union hater, I think they have value, they should start adapting to the coming reality.


  63. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    @Oswego Willy - I will eat my hat if Rauner doesn’t get everything he wants from this ruling.

    Abood was going to be overturned sooner but Scalia died.

    Abood was a major reason Merrick Garland’s seat on the Court was held hostage by Mitch McConnell.

    AFSCME as we know it had one last shot to save itself in 2012 by getting Hillary Clinton more electoral college votes and for myriad reasons, that didn’t happen.

    If Trump gets any more picks we are headed back to the Lochner Era folks.


  64. - Belle - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    I don’t believe it is the union exclusively that desires the system but regardless of whether it’s the union or the administration or a little of both.

    If you expect to reap the rewards u need to pay your fair share


  65. - Alice - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    Rauner wants to be remembered for one thing; not how to be a good governor but the one who broke the unions in Illinois. Fact of the matter Bruce has it all backwards, if he brought unions back where everyone earned a good pay check that would support their family like, food on the table,a house, college for the kids, medical insurance, new car, savings account. Hard working American families would be able to take care of themselves. There would be no need for government hand outs which would save the state billions…


  66. - LLCOOLJ - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    ” If I went to work in a factory the first thing I do is join a union” Franklin D. Roosevelt

    ” Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize ” Theodore Roosevelt


  67. - Dublin - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Here is the actual argument: No one is violating Janus’ rights of free speech as a private citizen. Janus, as a government employee, does not share the same rights when it comes to his employment. Therefore, being forced to pay for representation to a duality certified public union through the government does not violate his first amendment rights.


  68. - anon - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    Comparison to private employment or the general concept that you don’t have to take the job are less apt when discussing a government job. For those wanting an analogy, I think the opposition would ask: Would it permissible for the government to require membership in a specific association (pick one, Sierra Club, NRA, political party) as condition of receiving a benefit?


  69. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    ===I think the opposition would ask: Would it permissible for the government to require membership in a specific association===

    LOL

    You gotta be kidding me.


  70. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    State Worker: yes non union members pay a “fraction” of what members pay, but it is a big fraction. Before I retired, fair share = 90% of what members paid.


  71. - Just curious - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    And that 90% is a fraction of cost compared to the cost of reduction in pay. Reduction in pension increase health insurance with reduced benefits loss of job altogether. Etc. etc.


  72. - Swift - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 3:56 pm:

    To Rich’s point about forced association, it’s settled law and included in AFSCME’s brief.

    Short of SCOTUS abolishing Abood due to their right leaning composition at the moment, which could happen, I suspect the only changes will be to how unions account for fair share money. One of the expenses you will see as a fair share member on your annual statement of how funds were spent is a line item for lobbying. I don’t see a bright line distinction between when AFSCME lobbies for allowed purposes (benefits, etc.) or political purposes. Especially in Illinois when we had a bill designed to restrict the Governor’s ability to negotiate a union contract. Is that a permissible use of fair share funds? It benefits fair share employees, but does it cross the line? AFSCME contributions to a democratic candidate would also appear to benefit fair share employees, but that is forbidden. What happens when a state legislator says to AFSCME ‘I’ll support your bill for employee benefits only if you help me get a co-sponsor on my bill for…(insert hyper-partisan issue here)?


  73. - Just curious - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    I bet the pay raises you received over the years and compounded over more years far outweighed the 90% you paid

    It truly amazes me how much the fair share people complain about paying their fair share. But they sure don’t have any problem sticking their hands outs for all the goodies that are provided for you u never hear any complaints then


  74. - Ron - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    No government office worker should receive a pension. It’s silly


  75. - Anon - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    Oh geesh here we go again


  76. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    Maybe the court won’t see it the same way I do, but (as I’ve said before) the real legal question I see is whether or not there is sufficient separation (Chinese Wall) between the employee representation arm and the lobbying arm of AFSCME.

    But Janus case isn’t just about that; they muddy up the waters by arguing that even union negotiations are political speech. In the private sector, this would clearly not be the case … so that argument should fail.

    Be interesting to see what SCOTUS actually does.

    The court might decide the firewall is insufficient and order some kind of remedy.

    It may be they negate fair share but also negate forced representation.

    They could negate fair share but continue to require universal representation.

    Or they could just remand the case back to a lower court with a ruling the union must open their books in order to determine if the Fair Share fee is appropriate.

    This last one is where it will get interesting; there have been similar lower court rulings in the past and the union involved has always settled out of court before opening their books. I would like to actually see the books opened, at least to the court; then the union members would know where their money is going.

    If the court adheres to past practice, I’ll guess on an order to open the books.


  77. - Retired Educator - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:24 pm:

    Ron; with all due respect, you just posted the stupidest thing I have read today. Take another drink, then sober up, and get back to us later.


  78. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    ===with all due respect, you just posted the stupidest thing===

    I think you should reconsider the first part of your sentence.


  79. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    If Janis prevails, does one get to join Rauner’s high falutin fancy schmancy wine club without paying dues? Asking for a friend.


  80. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==I will eat my hat if Rauner doesn’t get everything he wants from this ruling.==

    Though he will certainly be happy I’m not convinced he will. I think he thinks people will leave the union in droves and I don’t think that’s going to happen in state government.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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