I was going to throw up a post on the latest union challenge in front of The Supreme Court, but the WSJ this morning mentioned something even juicer that they will hear. Yeah, I can do them both.
On Monday SCOTUS heard the latest challenge to public sector unions compelling employees to pay union dues, even when the union does not speak for them;
The Supreme Court on Monday will hear the landmark First Amendment case Janus v. Afscme that challenges whether public employees can be compelled to subsidize union advocacy. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, requiring “a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical”—and unconstitutional.
Janus gives the Supreme Court another crack at its flawed Abood (1977) precedent that let governments force nonunion public employees to pay “agency fees.” A 4-4 Court split in Friedrichs v. CTA (2016) after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death left Abood standing, but perhaps not for long.
Over the years I’ve written about the unholy alliance between PSU’s and The Democratic Party, the unions spending dues money in support them and their polices, and in return Democrats makes sure that the unions get everything they want, most times at the expense of the taxpayer.
I always add this disclaimer; I am (still) a card-carrying member of my union, so my criticisms are not of someone from the outside looking in. My union has done my bidding with regard to pay hikes, vacation time, pensions, healthcare, and general working conditions. It has not done well by me in using my dues to support candidates, causes, or ballot initiatives I don’t support. I get that unions have one job only, to collective bargain for my benefit, but sometimes it comes down to more that just ,”What is in it for me”.
The California Teachers Union is also in the back pocket of the Dems, they do their damnedest to propagate the theory that you can never throw enough money at education, thus we have the highest salaried teachers with cellar level academic standing. Since they don’t want competition or oversight, they are against charter schools and any education reform.
It is no surprise that the (R) governor is on one side and the (D) attorney general is on the other.
The plaintiff is arguing that the union dues he is compelled to pay is a clear infringement on his First Amendment rights, it is akin to , “the government forcing individuals to support a mandatory lobbyist or political advocacy group,”, that Abood was flawed in that it treated both private and public sector unions the same (public sector unions can affect public policy), and that an overturn is in order to bar unions from collecting agency fees.
About half the states have public sector unions, these and all the “right to work” states are eagerly following this case. Abood needs a stake put in its heart.
The second item under SCOTUS review has to do with the death penalty, and whether Alabama can legally execute someone who has no memory of the actual crime;
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether the Constitution forbids executing an Alabama inmate who has no memory of the murder he committed after a series of strokes left him with vascular dementia.
So they waited so long to execute this guy, that now he is old, falling apart, and has dementia……………..so what’s the problem?
The insanity exception does not work here. He was sane and culpable at the time of the murder, there were no errors in his trial, nothing that would warrant an appeal, but because death penalty cases drag on for decades, he now, like the other millions of dementia and Alzheimer sufferers who have trouble remembering things, can’t remember the crime he committed.
Is ,”Gee, the poor guy is old and falling apart, how about we show some compassion?” a legitimate reason for not abiding by what a jury of his peers decided was an appropriate punishment?
This is why I am against the death penalty in principle. The appeal process is so long and costly that the victim’s family never gets closure but it subjected to reliving it over and over. Abolish it altogether, give them a life of breaking big rocks into little rocks behind bars, and let the victim’s family get on with their lives.