In a Washington state case, the U.S. Supreme Court said today that states may force public sector labor unions to get consent from workers before using their fees for political activities.
In a ruling issued today, the court unanimously upheld a Washington state law that applied to public employees who choose not to join the union that represents them in contract talks with state and local governments. The workers are compelled to pay the equivalent of union dues, a portion of which the union uses for political activities.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the court, said the law does not violate the union's First Amendment rights.
But the state's Democratic governor and Democratic-controlled Legislature recently changed the law to eliminate the provision that was upheld today, blunting the impact of the court ruling.
Jun 14, 2007
opt-in law receives SCOTUS support
At last, a ruling in the union dues case. The gut feeling coming out of oral arguments months ago, among most parties concerned, was that the Supreme Court seemed unwilling to buy the WEA's argument that requiring an "opt-in" system was too burdensome. Today's ruling confirms that intuition.