The Hill: Supreme Court Set for Historic New Term

Janus v. AFSCME highlighted as one of the most important cases of the Supreme Court's new term.

Oct. 2, 2017

The Supreme Court is beginning a new term on Monday with a blockbuster docket of cases touching on civil rights, free speech, presidential power, redistricting and privacy rights.

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Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31

The justices are revisiting an issue it grappled with last term, when it had only eight justices: whether public sector employees can be forced to pay union fees.

The court deadlocked 4-4 in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association in March, affirming a lower court ruling that upheld a California law requiring some public-sector workers to pay union fees.

This case before the court now centers on Mark Janus, a child support specialist for the state of Illinois who has been forced to pay money to the American Federation of State, Country and Municipal Employees Council 31. He says that union has contributed to the fiscal and economic problems of his state with its unreasonable demands.

“Our case was already in the pipeline when the court considered Freidrichs. … Now it’s in a position to take up this issue again and actually reach a decision because now there are nine members and there shouldn’t be a tie,” said Jacob Huebert, an attorney with the Liberty Justice Center.

Huebert argues that government workers at every level should be able to choose whether they give their money to a union.

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