Supreme Court hearing news

More on Monday’s Supreme Court hearing

Top quotes from Monday’s US Supreme Court hearing on the Janus case that aims to install inequality at the bargaining table (to negotiate wages to sustain our families) and also in representing state employees’ contract rights in the workplace:

  •  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reflected on the consequences of ruling against the union in the case before the court. “It drains it of resources that make it an equal partner” with the government in negotiations.
  • David C. Frederick, a lawyer for the union, said it should be free to fight for higher wages. “Most public servants are underpaid,” he said, “and I will stipulate to that before this body.”
  • Near the end of the argument, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the case represented an existential threat to the labor movement. “You’re basically arguing, ‘Do away with unions,’ ” she told Mr. Messenger.

The Supreme Court ruled that such laws (that Janus would overturn) are constitutional in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a foundational 1977 decision that made a distinction between two kinds of compelled payments. Forcing nonmembers to pay for a union’s political activities violated the First Amendment, the court said. But it was constitutional, the court added, to require nonmembers to help pay for the union’s collective bargaining efforts to prevent freeloading and ensure “labor peace.”

Janus v AFSCME oral arguments

Source: New York Times, 2/27/18:

Updated 2/28/18

Mainstream media defend public sector unions in wake of Monday’s Supreme Court hearing

The Los Angeles Times and USA Today are the latest mainstream media voices to oppose the Janus case heard by the United States Supreme Court Monday (Feb. 26).

  • USA Today said “upward mobility is at stake”   “Unions help boost equality and build our nation’s middle class. Families will have a steeper climb to get there if the court rules against AFSCME.” Read the USA Today story here
  • The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board called the Janus case “a bogus free-speech argument at the Supreme Court is union-busting in the name of the 1st Amendment”   Read the Los Angeles Times editorial here.