Orange County, California teacher Rebecca Friedrichs and her legal counsel are fighting for individual liberty before the Supreme Court. Fighting for her conscience, she wants to end paying forced union dues against her will for causes and candidates she opposes.
She is taking a bold, brave stand.
The Supreme Court just heard arguments for Friedrichs v. CA, a case which will decide whether teachers and other public employees must pay dues to labor unions, whether they join or not. At stake is the First Amendment, since agency fees subsidize speech, press, and association of members, often contrary to the views and beliefs of the members.
Unions have long argued they must represent employees, even those who do not join, and therefore each member should contribute for the service.
In the past, Justice Antonin Scalia usually sided with this argument, but indicated a change of mind during Friedrichs orals, particularly in the cases of public sector v. private sector unions. Justice Kennedy flatly rejected the “free rider” complaint. “The union basically is making these teachers compelled riders for issues on which they strongly disagree.”
Scalia also rejected the argument that public sector unions need forced dues, citing the federal labor unions which do not charge agency fees, and still survive, even thrive.
American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten sounded more optimistic, sensing that the Supreme Court would not overturn forty years of legal precedent. Of course, she is a biased source, and admits so candidly. Unions, the Democratic Party, and national left-wing causes stand to lose millions in easy revenue if the Court strikes down agency fees, although the impact will not hit immediately.
We need more Rebecca Friedrichs taking bold stances, sacrificing and risking so much to turn America around.
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