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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Decision on Unions and Politics

The Los Angeles Times reports:
TheU.S. Supreme Court sharply criticized public-sector unions for using money from nonmembers to fund special political campaigns, stepping into the intense political debate about such unions and signaling that new constitutional limits may be coming.

The justices ruled Thursday that the Service Employees International Union in California violated the 1st Amendment rights of its dissident members by taking extra fees from their paychecks in 2005. The money was used to fight two anti-union ballot measures sponsored by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"This aggressive use of power by the SEIU to collect fees from nonmembers is indefensible," said JusticeSamuel A. Alito Jr., speaking for the court's conservative majority. "When a public-sector union imposes a special assessment or dues increase, the union … may not exact any funds from nonmembers without their affirmative consent."
The case is Knox v. SEIU.