Supreme Court Deals Big Setback to Labor Unions in Illinois Case -BYLN- by MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 28, 2018 | Go to article overview

Supreme Court Deals Big Setback to Labor Unions in Illinois Case -BYLN- by MARK SHERMAN Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor.

The justices are scrapping a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join.

The 5-4 decision fulfills a longtime wish of conservatives to get rid of the so-called fair share fees that nonmembers pay to unions in roughly two dozen states. The court ruled that the laws violate the First Amendment by compelling workers to support unions they may disagree with.

"States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees," Justice Samuel Alito said in his majority opinion for the court's five conservative justices.

President Donald Trump weighed in minutes after the decision was handed down, while Alito still was reading a summary of it from the bench.

"Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!" Trump said in a tweet.

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote of the big impact of the decision. "There is no sugarcoating today's opinion. The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation's law -- and its economic life -- for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy."

The court's three other liberal justices joined the dissent.

The court split 4-4 the last time it considered the issue in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. …

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