(Editor: www.thereportcard.org Individual teachers are challenging a California law that forces all teachers to pay union dues whether or not they agree with how the union spends the money and even if they don’t belong to the union. The Rebecca Friedrichs, the teacher’s bringing the suit claims that the Teacher’s Union espouses radical views and uses union dues to proclaim those views. Ms. Friedrichs states: “As someone who has taught in the public schools for 28 years … in my view, every individual has the right to choose the organization that advocates on their behalf,” Friedrichs said. “I admire the history of unions and the spirit in which they were born. But in recent years, unions have become what they used to fight: powerful, entrenched organizations.” It should be pointed out that ever since Jimmy Carter allowed teacher’s unions to exist and collect dues, the Democrats have stood behind the unions and in return the unions have backed Democratic elected officials. This is often to the detriment of students. Last year, the NEA alone spent $40 Million to influence state and local elections. The case has been heard at the Supreme Court and an opinion will be issued).
Wall Street Journal January 12, 2016
Americans need cheering up these days, so we’re happy to report that the First Amendment had a good day at the Supreme Court on Monday. The Justices are hard to predict, but a majority seems prepared to rule that it is unconstitutional for governments to coerce workers to pay agency fees to government unions.
That’s our happy judgment after Monday’s oral argument in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Individual teachers are challenging a California law that forces all teachers to pay union dues whether or not they agree with how the union spends the money and even if they don’t belong to the union.
The union and state claim this is fair because all workers benefit from collective bargaining, so some workers shouldn’t be allowed to be “free riders” by paying no fees. But Justice Anthony Kennedy made short work of this in questioning the union counsel.
“It’s almost axiomatic. When you are dealing with a governmental agency, many critical points are matters of public concern. And is it not true that many teachers are—strongly, strongly disagree with the union position on teacher tenure, on merit pay, on merit promotion, on classroom size?” the Justice said. “The term is free rider. The union basically is making these teachers compelled riders for issues on which they strongly disagree.”
Justice Antonin Scalia made his own views clear when he asked counsel for the plaintiffs Michael Carvin whether it would be okay to pass a law “to force somebody to contribute to a cause that he does believe in?”
Mr. Carvin: “No, it’s not, and that’s because the bedrock” free-speech principle” is “not whether or not you vividly oppose what they’re saying, it’s because you don’t wish to subsidize it.”
Justice Scalia: “Exactly.”
Concerning the High Court, we follow the Berra Rule that it’s not over ’til it’s over, but Monday’s portents were excellent.