Appeals court tosses forced union dues lawsuit, next stop Supreme Court

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As expected, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has affirmed a lower court decision dismissing an Illinois lawsuit that right-to-work experts assert could be the next Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

But the appeals court ruling means the case may soon be heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a restored conservative majority could put an end to compulsory union dues.

“The court’s ruling is no surprise but simply allows the next step forward in the journey to end forced unionism for public employees across the country,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “No one should be forced to pay union dues or fees just for the privilege of working for their own government and this decision means the case can now move up to the United States Supreme Court.”

The ruling comes nearly three weeks after the Chicago-based appeals court heard oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, which specifically deals with the First Amendment rights of public employees who wish to opt out of their unions, and the fairness of a union’s “monopoly” right to speak for individuals.

The Illinois employee plaintiffs are being represented, free of cost, by the Right to Work Foundation and the Illinois Policy Institute’s Liberty Justice Center, free-market organizations that oppose compulsory union dues and membership.

Under a 1977 Supreme Court decision, unions are not allowed to use membership fees to pay for “explicitly political” activities, but they can demand “fair share” fees connected to collective bargaining.

Read more of this story at Wisconsin Watchdog

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