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Monday, July 02, 2018

Court gutted Democrats

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees had an immediate impact on American politics. The justices said unions could no longer force non-members to pay union dues.

"Under Illinois law, public employees are forced to subsidize a union, even if they choose not to join and strongly object to the positions the union takes in collective bargaining and related activities. We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern," Justice Samuel Alito began his very clear majority opinion.

Reaction to the decision proved that the plaintiff, Mark Janus, was correct in saying his dues were not going to fund union activities but instead much of the money funded political activity that he opposed.

Justices overturned the 1977 ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which allowed unions to charge non-members "agency fees" for representing them. That was a unanimous decision, but four decades later, justices realized they erred because there was no clear way to determine what were agency fees and what were political.

"We recognize that the loss of payments from nonmembers may cause unions to experience unpleasant transition costs in the short term, and may require unions to make adjustments in order to attract and retain members. But we must weigh these disadvantages against the considerable windfall that unions have received under Abood for the past 41 years. It is hard to estimate how many billions of dollars have been taken from nonmembers and transferred to public-sector unions in violation of the First Amendment. Those unconstitutional exactions cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely," the court ruled.

A story in the New York Times made clear that unions ripped off nonmembers to finance pro-abortion and other crazy liberal beliefs.

"The Supreme Court decision striking down mandatory union fees for government workers was not only a blow to unions. It will also hit hard at a vast network of groups dedicated to advancing liberal policies and candidates," the Times reported.

Think of them as leeches because that is what they are.

"The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank producing research on worker rights, wages and employment, has relied on the four biggest public-sector unions for about 10 to 15 percent of its roughly $6 million in annual revenue in recent years," the Times reported.

So let us get this straight: people who oppose this liberal group were picking up 15% of its tab.

That is money those people could have used to advance their own agendas.

"A group called Mi Familia Vota, which advocates on behalf of Latino voters and immigrants, had received about $1 million a year directly from the Service Employees International Union since 2012 — a significant portion of its annual revenue, which has ranged from about $1.5 million to $5 million during that time," the Times reported.

"Last year, the union gave just $25,000."

Funny how when you are not spending someone else's money you are not willing to pay as much.

"In 2016, the four major public-sector unions gave nearly 15 percent of the $17 million raised by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which funds state legislative races nationwide. But the group is optimistic that any loss of union revenue can be offset by what it calls the 'people power' of union members and other voters," the Times reported.

The end of the free ride comes at a time when Democrats are at an 80-year low in their ranks at the state level. They have too many seats to defend to take back the Senate, and have no one under 75 among their House leadership triumvirate.

As for unions, less than 7% of non-government workers belong to one. But 35% of government workers belong, which has kept the union movement propped up since the 1970s. Giving government workers the opportunity to stop paying union dues will see that percentage shrink as well.

From his office in Madison, Wisconsin, surely Republican Governor Scott Walker smiles.


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  1. Way, way overdue. The Demos and the unions have had a sweet racket going for 86 years.

    The end of the free ride comes at a time when Democrats are at an 80-year low in their ranks at the state level. They have to many seats to defend to take back the Senate, and have no one under 75 among their House leadership triumvirate.

    Music to my ears.

  2. Could it be that that Long March through the institutions just got cut off from its supply column and is over-extended?

    Oh look, a counter-offensive about to cut off their salient.

  3. I have been screaming for over thirty years that the entire point of money is that it is fungible.

    BTW, thank you for mentioning Walker. He was my first choice. That said, I am happy that I was wrong and ecstatic that my third choice is in the White House today.

  4. Among the reason's the SCOTUS gave in Janus for overturning "settled law" in Abood was the "impracticality" of Abood in separating union costs that were chargeable against agency fees for its non-members and those more general union expenses that were not (among them, union political activities). To me "impracticality" seems like an irrelevancy, not a legal point. Instead of using that argument to strike down Abood, the Court could have ordered the state to require more stringent accounting by the union of its allowable versus unallowable expenses. What Janus boils down to is that times have changed, said the Court, and so should labor law. Talk about a "Living Constitution," this opinion was it in spades. I see no First Amendment issue in agency fees, however, I do have a problem with public sector unions. If the courts in their infinite wisdom allow the latter, I think there is good reason for them to permit the former.

    1. The "impracticality" was that money is fungible and therefore not separable.

      Agency fees should be seen as 13th amendment violation imposing involuntary servitude to a group the worker has chosen not to associate with.

      The Dem Party Is, Has Been, and always Will Be, the Party of Slavery. So agency fees fit right into their MO.


    2. Money is fungible, but that is not to say the union's costs of negotiating a labor contract can't be properly determined. "Money is fungible" is a mindless phrase. Cost accounting, on the other hand, is a well established discipline with a well-established methodology that works in the private sphere and (LOL) sometimes even works in government accounting.

    3. And PS, "money is fungible" is no legal argument...unless you are a lazy jurist and have no other basis for tailoring the legal outcome to your personal preference at the outset.

  5. "Agency fees" is a fancy term for money laundering. Just like Planned Parenthood saying they don't use federal funding for abortions. Utter poppycock.

  6. Why do we call court decisions "law" or "settled law" when they haven't been through the legislative process in Congress and been signed by a President?

  7. I was in the Steelwokers' Union for years. They raised our dues just in time to finance Obama's second campaign. The irony was that a miners' union bankrolled an anti-mining party.

  8. Everything is constitutional/legal until the courts have ruled otherwise. People don't know that and one has to have standing on the issue to even sue in the first place.
    I have yet to find a union member that believes that their management spends their dues on candidates they would support. Are there votes by the members on who to give money to? Not to my knowledge or those I have talked to in the past.

    1. When I was, for a couple of years, in the National Treasury Employee's Union they never asked us how we felt.

  9. The Democrats were always going to turn the confirmation of Kennedy's successor into a pitched battle, there's no doubting that. But, by going out of their way to be unnecessarily antagonistic towards and repudiating both Korematsu and Abood, the SCOTUS has made the task of confirming Kennedy's replacement that much more difficult. Frankly, I see both of these actions by the Court as poison pills, not something to rejoice in with great enthusiasm. Overturning what some people mistakenly and naively call "settled law" is a dog whistle for the Democrats, whose raison d'être is to preserve Roe v Wade. Worse yet, the Court's decisions have aroused squishy Republican senators like Collins of Maine, whose vote may be crucial to confirm Trump's nominee to the Court. The fallout from the Court's work has yet to be felt.

  10. The Supreme Court should have ruled that Public Sector unions were unconstitutional. Too bad that wasn't the case on the table. I don't even know who or what organization would have the legal standing to bring such a case to the courts. But Public Sector unions should be banned and disbanded.

    1. And the ID10T who allowed them should be taken out and horse whipped.

  11. My understanding is that public service unions were created/allowed by a JFK executive order. If true, then a Trump EO could simply and instantaneously end them. Liberal heads exploding would look like the end of Mars Attacks without the Slim Whitman sound track!