Bennett v. AFSCME: Protecting Workers' First Amendment Rights

Bennett v. AFSCME

Susan Bennett has worked for the Moline-Coal Valley School District since 2009. Since then, she has been required to pay either membership dues or non-member fees to AFSCME Local 672. But in June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case Janus v. AFSCME that mandatory union payments are illegal. The Court said no government employee in the United States can be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Bennett is a custodian for the school district and pays nearly $600 each year in dues to AFSCME. She heard about the Court’s decision, and in November 2018 attempted to exercise her Janus rights under the Supreme Court’s ruling. She resigned union membership and requested that the school district stop deducting union dues and political contributions from her paycheck.

After receiving her resignation, the union said Bennett must wait for a 15-day window starting in July 2019 to resign and stop dues deduction. The union is requiring Bennett to pay union dues and contribute to their political action fund for eight months after she submitted her resignation. And, in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Moline-Coal Valley School District has continued to deduct union dues and union political contributions from Bennett’s paycheck.

After multiple attempts to stop the union dues deductions on her own, Bennett turned to attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center for help.


Bennett’s case, Bennett v. AFSCME, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois on April 26, 2019.


Complaint 04/26/2019

Exhibits A - F 04/26/2019

Agreed Motion to Stay Briefing on MTD 07/22/2019

Joint Discovery Plan 07/23/2019

Joint Status Report 09/19/2019

Joint Stipulated Record 09/19/2019

Exhibits 1 - 12 09/19/2019

Plaintiff Motion for Summary Judgment 10/18/2019

Plaintiff Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment 10/18/2019

Plaintiff Response to Motion for Summary Judgment and MTD 12/06/2019

Final Order 03/31/2020

Judgment 04/02/2020

Notice of Appeal 04/14/2020

Plaintiff's Docketing Statement 04/14/2020

Appellant's Brief and Short Appendix 05/26/2020

Joint Motion to Stay 05/29/2020

Order 05/29/2020

Amicus Brief 06/03/2020

Order 07/20/2020

Joint Appellees' Brief 12/21/2020

State Defendants' Appellees' Brief 12/21/2020

Supplemental Appendix of Appellees 12/21/2020

Final Opinion 03/12/2021

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