Skip to comments.Court Rules Against Public Sector Unions in Quinn v. Harris (SCOTUS)
Posted on 06/30/2014 8:56:31 AM PDT by PoloSec
The Supreme Court ruled Monday in Harris v. Quinn that politicians can no longer force family members caring for disabled relatives into public sector unions.
In a 5-4 ruling, the court found the state of Illinois violated the constitution when imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich agreed to funnel a portion of home healthcare worker checks to political allies SEIU and AFSCME. The unions collected more than $50 million from about 20,000 such people over a five-year period.
The decision, authored by Samuel Alito, did not completely limit the ability of public sector unions to collect dues from employees who do not want to join unions. However, the court recognized a category of partial public employees and ruled that fees cannot be forcefully extracted from these people.
PAs are much different from public employees, Alitos decision read. Unlike full-fledged public employees, PAs are almost entirely answerable to the customers and not to the State, do not enjoy most of the rights and benefits that inure to state employees, and are not indemnified by the State for claims against them arising from actions taken during the course of their employment.
The court did not overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a 1977 ruling that allowed public sector unions to compel dues from non-members.
Pamela Harris, a 55-year-old mother who serves as a personal assistant to her severely disabled son, Josh, sued the state after discovering that the SEIU was taking money from her monthly Medicaid check.
One penny, one dollar taken out of [the monthly stipend] is taken out of support or services for Josh, she told the Washington Free Beacon on the eve of oral arguments in January. Being in a union is incompatible, intrusive, and going to interfere with the care I provide. The union is there to protect the union worker, so I dont see how Josh benefits.
Other mothers agreed that the policy was a scheme developed to siphon money from Medicaid beneficiaries to union organizers. Susie Watts, 57, paid SEIU about $60 per month for the privilege of caring for her physically disabled daughter, Libby.
Theyre profiting from the disabled, she told the Washington Free Beacon in January. Im considered a public employee solely for the purpose of paying union dues.
Illinois lawyers argued that because Harris and other home health aides receive taxpayer money, they are state employees subject to union dues. The union classification, however, does not cover other traditional union benefits, such as pension and liability coverage.
The court rejected that argument.
Finally. Thank You SCOTUS for suppressing oppression and thuggery.
Four SC justices voted to allow this scheme? That is sick.
Great news. Here in IL this will provide some impetus for Bruce Rauner’s campaign who has a big struggle ahead to try to unseat the inept democrat Pat Quinn, who was Blago’s LG and replaced him after he resigned.
How did the three “ladies” vote?
Will they now have to pay it back?...................
My recollectio of how things work is that no, the money doesn’t have to be paid back.
I hope those families get retroactive refunds.
Dont forget the 4th old lady too with no hair. What a wimp.
What is really ironic is that the lawsuit did NOT pertain to public workers. Therefore, what governor’s Quinn and Blagoyovich did was to pass a law that forced NON gov’t workers to pay dues to a union.
This was really a no brainer for SCOTUS even though 4 voted dissented. Had the lawsuit involved a public sector worker forced to pay dues, who knows the outcome, since Kennedy passed this law in the 1960s and it was never contested.
NOW as a result they’ve screwed it up for the millions of gov’t workers who are compelled to pay union dues. No doubt public workers will not want to pay union dues anymore.
These guys should be nominated for the Darwin award.
Technically they did not over rule Aboud vs Detroit Board of Education, but I can’t see how this is that far behind. I mean why should anyone be forced to pay union dues if they are public workers? That means they work for the tax payer.
Lawyers argued that because Harris and other home health aides receive taxpayer money, they are state employees subject to union dues.
Only a hack has that type of logic looks like unions are going to have to go back to loan sharking.
I wonder if any of the justices considered that allowing the SEIU to forcefully take dues from PAs is a direct transfer of government Social Security Disability funds to the union. How is that constitutional?
Extrapolating that argument, are ALL people receiving taxpayer money (welfare recipients, etc) then considered state employees and thus are subject to union dues? That should rile up the troops.