Sept. 28, 2017
Washington (CNN) – A week before the Supreme Court is set to begin the new term, justices announced Thursday that they are adding a big public sector union fees case to an already blockbuster docket.
The issue concerns something that deeply divided the court in 2016: whether non-members of public sector unions can be required to pay so-called “fair share” fees germane to collective bargaining.
The case is brought by Mark Janus, an Illinois public sector employee, who says the fees violate his First Amendment rights. Court precedent holds that while a non-member does not have to pay fees that go to political activities, that exemption does not include fees for issues such as employment conditions and employee grievances.
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“We are pleased the Supreme Court has agreed to take up this case and revisit a 40-year-old precedent that has allowed governments to violate the First Amendment rights of millions of workers,” said Liberty Justice Center’s Jacob Huebert in a statement.
“People shouldn’t be forced to surrender their First Amendment right to decide for themselves what organizations they support just because they decide to work for the state, their local government or a public school,” he added.