The U.S. Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that would benefit workers who are currently forced to pay union dues which are then used to fund political causes and candidates they may disagree with. Mark Janus, a state worker in Illinois, filed suit against the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Workers (AFSCME) labor union alleging that dues paid to the union violate his First Amendment rights.
The Court siding with Janus would be a massive win for worker freedom and a major setback to Big Labor, potentially slashing public employee unions’ political war chests by nearly two-thirds:
“Democratic candidates and causes rely on these unions for more than $100 million in contributions every election cycle, and for armies of workers dispatched to staff phone banks and canvass neighborhoods across the country.”
One of the prime benefiaries of public sector unions is Claire McCaskill, who has received $24,250 from AFSCME:
- During the 2018 Election Cycle, AFSCME Has Contributed $3,500 To McCaskill. (McCaskill For Missouri, Federal Election Commission, Accessed 2/26/18)
- During The 2012 Election Cycle, AFSCME Contributed $10,000 To McCaskill. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 2/26/18)
- During The 2006 Election Cycle, AFSCME Contributed $10,750 To McCaskill. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 2/26/18)
Beyond the political implications, the case “presents an opportunity to expand freedom to millions” of public employees:
“The Janus case presents an opportunity to expand freedom to millions more public employees, many of whom would undoubtedly exercise that freedom. Fully aware of these potential consequences, unions are looking ahead and seeking to prevent workers from escaping forced dues, either through contract gimmicks or by using government bureaucracy to block groups that educate workers on their rights.
“But all Americans have a stake in the success of the Janus lawsuit, so that no one is any longer forced to fund speech with which they disagree.”