Today the United States Supreme Court took an important first step toward ending the unconstitutional practice of dipping into the paychecks of hardworking State employees and forcing them to pay into the union coffers, even if they are not members of the union.
“No person should be forced to give up a portion of their pay each month to fund public sector union activity against their will,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “It’s a fundamental violation of their First Amendment right to free speech and association. I am hopeful the Court will see it that way in the end.”
The Court has questioned this practice twice in the past five years. Most recently in June of 2016, when it split 4-4, following the death of Justice Scalia. By granting certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME today, the Court is again indicating that it’s concerned about the constitutional implications of forcing non-union members to fund union activities.
Governor Rauner’s Administration has been a leader in protecting the free speech and free association rights of State employees since taking office. These efforts began with Executive Order 2015-13, which directed state agencies to comply with the First Amendment and formed the initial impetus for the Janus case. While the Administration is no longer a party to the litigation, it is pleased to know the Supreme Court has recognized the issues warrant careful consideration. The Court has agreed to resolve this question by the time its current session ends, next June.