On November 2, the Liberty Justice Center, the Illinois Policy Institute, and the Upper Midwest Law Center jointly filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Jarrett v. Service Employees International Union, Local 503 (SEIU). This case consolidates five separate cases, filed in three states, where government employees have sued their unions for withholding dues from their paychecks without their consent—in violation of their rights under Janus v. AFSCME.
The plaintiffs in the cases are government employees from Oregon, Washington, and California, where statutes grant unions exclusive control to decide which employees to withhold dues from—regardless of whether the union has evidence of an employee’s affirmative consent.
In their amicus brief, the Liberty Justice Center, the Illinois Policy Institute, and the Upper Midwest Law Center argue that the Ninth Circuit Court’s holding upholding the forced dues payments not only contradicts the Supreme Court’s ruling in the landmark 2018 case Janus v. AFSCME, but also contradicts a later holding by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the Janus litigation, creating a split among the circuit courts that the Supreme Court should resolve.
“The dues deduction schemes in this case leave the employee’s rights up to the union’s discretion,” said Jeffrey Schwab, Senior Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center. “That cannot stand. By granting certiorari in this case and affirming its ruling in Janus, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to hold unions accountable for violating employees’ rights.”
“Unless the Supreme Court grants certiorari in this case and intervenes, state and local government employers across the country will continue to violate their employees’ Janus rights by taking money from their paychecks without securing their consent,” said James Dickey, Senior Trial Counsel at the Upper Midwest Law Center.
“When governments provide unions with the use of their power, it constitutes state action, and is therefore subject to constitutional restraints,” said Mailee Smith, Senior Director of Labor Policy and Staff Attorney at the Illinois Policy Institute. “We urge the Supreme Court to hear this case and protect the thousands of public employees whose rights are being threatened and violated by the legal schemes of public-sector unions.”
The Liberty Justice Center’s amicus brief is available here.