Unions vs. Free Speech

Sep 30, 2017

In its pre-Term conference, justices began reviewing the petitions that have stacked up during the Court’s recess. The Supreme Court will determine whether or not “forced union dues from public-sector unions to pay for political activity . . . violate the First Amendment.” The Supreme Court appears to be ready to reconsider an earlier decision from 1977, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. In the earlier case the Supreme Court allowed “forcing union members to pay for political speech they disagree with. Union dues that pay for political activity “almost always support liberal political candidates and priorities.” The Abood decision might have been overturned in 2015, however, Justice Scalia died before the decision could be issued. The case was tied 4-4 and dismissed. Now with nine justices, the Supreme Court may overturn Abood. Justice Gorsuch is thought to be a justice who will find that using union dues for political speech violates members First Amendment rights.