Janus v. AFSCME, a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2018 which determined that government employees cannot be compelled to pay union dues as a condition of employment, could be potentially be at risk according to a plaintiff and an attorney from the case.
Mark Janus, the plaintiff in Janus v. AFSCME, and Bill Messenger, a staff attorney at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, expressed some of their concerns about the durability of Janus.
Janus said, “I think at some point, yes, it may get back to the court for clarification purposes. That has yet to be seen. It may take another 2-3 years.”
Bill Messenger commented on potential scenarios for future challenges of Janus:
“There are probably over 40 cases right now going on this issue and we would hope at the end of the day the appellate courts interpret Janus correctly and hold the first amendment waiver as required. If they do, Supreme Court review isn’t required. However, if the circuit courts misinterpret Janus to not require a first amendment waiver, then ultimately the high court may have to make clear that it meant what it said in Janus.”
Eight months after the Janus decision, 48,598 California government employees stopped paying union dues based on information from a California Public Records request. These numbers are likely increasing as we speak.
The Janus v. AFSCME decision of 2018 overturned the 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
Under the Abood case, the Epoch Times notes the following points:
“Every employee represented by a union, even if that employee was not a union member, must pay to the union, as a condition of employment, a service charge equal in amount to union dues. This was valid insofar as the service charges were used to finance expenditures by the union for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment purposes.”
However, a more conservative Supreme court in 2018 struck down the Abood case with its Janus decision. It established the following points:
No public-sector employee, having refused membership in a trade union, may be compelled to pay union dues to said union because of the benefits he may receive from their collective bargaining. “Fair share” agreements, when applied to public sector workers, violate the First Amendment protections of free association and freedom of speech.
This was one of the biggest blows against organized labor, now that public sector workers can opt out of government unions.
Right to work is one of the most successful conservative policy movements in the nation.
Bill Messenger broke down the significance of the Janus decision:
“Right to work is a very simple concept. It’s that each individual employee has the right to choose whether or not to support a union and that’s really it. If an employee wants to pay union dues, that’s their choice, but if an employee doesn’t want to pay union dues toward a union, that is also their choice. The contrary to the right to work principle is the forced unionism idea, that all employees should be forced to support a union whether they want to or not. Right to work stands in contrast to that and say ‘no, each worker should choose.’ So ultimately it’s about worker freedom.”
Before the Janus decision, 27 states and Guam had right to work laws on the books that gave workers the ability to opt out of union dues.
Right to work protects the freedom of association, a fundamental bedrock of a free society.
Knowing the Left and its relentless nature, they will find ways to prevent the Janus decision from fully being implemented. Ultimately, their endgame would be to overturn Janus.
Freedom fighters would be wise to remain vigilant in the next few years.
BREAKING: Roger Stone is a Free Man, President Trump Commutes Sentence
The story is developing.
On July 10, 2020, commentator John Cardillo reported that conservative operative Roger Stone received a commutation of his prison sentence from President Donald Trump.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) July 10, 2020
Over the past few days, President Trump has considered commuting Roger Stone’s sentence a few days prior to his report to prison.
Stone is expected to report to a federal prison in Jesup, Georgia by July 14 where he will serve out a three year and four month prison sentence for allegedly lying under oath to U.S. elected officials during the politically contrived Russian interference investigation.
Trump has had a relationship with the Republican political operative for decades.
For some time, Trump has discussed the potential of commuting Stone’s sentence.
When asked by reporters earlier on July 10 about reports of his plan to pardon Stone, Trump remarked, “I’ll be looking at it. I think Roger Stone was very unfairly treated, as were many people.”
Reuters reported that back in November 2019, a “Washington jury convicted Stone on all seven criminal counts of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness.”
The same report added that “Stone was convicted for lying to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks, the website that released damaging emails about Trump’s 2016 Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton that U.S. intelligence officials have concluded were stolen by Russian hackers.”
Stone’s commutation, while not a full-blown pardon that erases his conviction, is a solid victory for the Rule of Law.
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