Skip to comments.Labor Thuggery at the Supreme Court
Posted on 02/27/2018 11:54:38 PM PST by lowbuck
Organized labor took off the gloves Monday, warning the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court that freeing public employees from mandatory union dues would lead to strikes and union violence. It was ugly.
The Court heard oral arguments challenging laws in 22 states and the District of Columbia that force public employees to pay unions to represent them, even if they disagree with the union's demands and politics. Mark Janus, a child support specialist and public employee in Illinois, claims his First Amendment free speech rights are being violated when he is forced to pay money to a union -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union "uses my monthly fees to promote an agenda I don't support," Janus objects.
Lawyers advocating for the union resorted to bullying, threatening labor strife if the longstanding Supreme Court precedent favoring mandatory union fees (Abood, 1977) is overturned. Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, who did most of the talking in support of the mandatory fees, grasped at straws rather than confronting head-on the free speech rights of public employees -- teachers, police officers, firefighters and more.
Justice Anthony Kennedy raised the critical issue in the case, explaining that AFSCME, like all public employee unions, negotiates wages, benefits and work rules that determine how much state and local governments cost taxpayers. Kennedy pointed out that public unions come down "against privatization, against merit promotion ... for massive government, for increasing bonded indebtedness, for increasing taxes." These are key political issues. Supporting the union means supporting big government, big budgets, big workforces, and a big tax bill.
Kagan made a flimsy suggestion that these are not actually "matters of public concern." Huh? Anyone who pays taxes knows they are.
As Janus himself says, "At a time when Illinois is drowning in red ink ... the union is wrangling taxpayers for higher wages and pension benefits for state workers." He adds in disgust, "the union fight is not my fight."
So why should Janus be forced to pay fees to support the union? Amazingly, the lawyer for the state of Illinois argued that it's to avoid labor discord. When union membership is voluntary, he said, some members stop paying, and dues go up for the rest. That's when the unions "tend to become more militant, more confrontational."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration made the same hardball argument in a brief filed with the court. The city's top lawyer argued that mandatory fees are needed to avoid "paralyzing public sector strikes," like those in the 1960s and 1970s, "that wreaked havoc on millions of city residents." Translation: If you don't allow us to keep demanding these involuntary union payments, expect trouble. The de Blasio administration reminded the justices that in the past, strikes in New York meant "garbage piled in the streets, children missed weeks of school, and subways ground to a halt."
A not so subtle threat. No wonder the lawyer for Janus labeled the mandatory fees "protection money." He asked, who can defend the "idea that the government needs to force its employees to subsidize unions or otherwise the unions will disrupt the government"?
The union threats are disgraceful, and they also ring hollow. After all, we don't have labor wars in states without compulsory public union fees.
Most disappointing, the same four justices who supported mandatory union fees two years ago, when the court split 4-4 in a similar case, sidestepped the core issue -- whether forcing public employees to pay money to an organization is as much a violation of their free speech as forcing them to utter words against their convictions.
Instead, Kagan fretted about the disruptive impact of striking down the mandatory fees. "Thousands of municipalities would have contracts invalidated. Those contracts probably cover millions, maybe up to over 10 million workers." Kagan asked, "What would be the justification for doing something like that?"
It's unlikely contracts will be invalidated. But to answer Kagan's question, the "justification" is called the United States Constitution.
“Lets see if the public workers are willing to pull an Airline Traffic Controllers strike with Mr. Trump in the White House.”
And let’s see if the SCOTUS yields to intimidation? Gorsuch has been vitally important since the day he arrived on the Court. Hey Ruth Buzzy, it’s time for your dirt nap! I’s like to see Trump get another appointment before the Midterm Elections, just in case the GOPe circular firing squad in the Senate is successful at loosing their majority.
Kagan is a few letters short of “Plainly incompetent” while Sotomayor is a few tacos short of a Jalapena Happy Meal.
Being squat, stupid and half-witted even with a law degree is no way to go through life, ladies!
As Joe Biden would say, “Unions” are a 4 letter word - “Thugs”.
Union thuggery, as par.
Some of these unions have become as bad or worse than the worst robber barons of old.
They should remind the supremes.. Scalia died right before a crucial union vote. O wait, you don’t think they did remind them?
” Scalia died right before a crucial union vote”.
Scalia was murdered right before a crucial union vote.
There, fixed it.
The Union thugs may start this fight, but citizens will finish it.
Unbelievable a Supreme court would consider terror threats and not law
<>Kagan fretted about the disruptive impact of striking down the mandatory fees. "Thousands of municipalities would have contracts invalidated. Those contracts probably cover millions, maybe up to over 10 million workers." Kagan asked, "What would be the justification for doing something like that?"
You and your social justice brethren are responsible for destroying all that was good and decent in America. I shall refrain from posting further what I think.
We have known for generations that unions maintain their power through terrorism - the use of force or the threat of force to achieve their political objectives. Never, ever give in to terrorism. I would rather have a shooting war between decent people and union goons than give even one dollar of my personal money or tax dollars to SEIU, Teamsters, AFL/CIO, or any other terrorist group, even if resisting their evil leads to a full-scale civil war.
garbage piled in the streets, children missed weeks of school, and subways ground to a halt. All those things can be contracted out.
Union teachers in the Pittsburgh Public Schools have voted to strike on Friday, for the first time in 40 years.
I suspect that timing is not a coincidence.
Public Union negotiations are when Group A (Unions) is negotiating with Group B (Government) as to how hard and deep they are both going to screw Group C (Taxpayers)!
If I dont like the union ran auto shop, I can go to a different auto shop for my repairs. As a taxpaying citizen, if I dont like the way the DMV or any other Public Union is operating or is compensated, I cant just go to a different DMV to get my vehicle licensed!
Im sorry, but no government group/entity should be allowed to sign a binding contract with a union, to which the next one, two, four election cycle members are legally bound! And most importantly, these elected officials are signing a contract that THEY are NOT paying, it is a contract paid for by taxpayer expense!!
I think if a Government agency is going to sign a Public Union contract, then the TAXPAYERS should have a say in debate - its my money and I cant just vote with my wallet, like I could at some auto shop on the corner!