Free speech: Supreme Court seems unimpressed by union arguments on compulsory fees

In the name of free speech, the U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to ban public-sector unions from collecting fees from non-union workers. A group of California teachers claims their free speech rights are violated if forced to support unions with which they often disagree. (ABC News, January 11, 2016, by Sam Hananel of The Associated Press)

Some fear that if workers are allowed to opt out of paying bargaining fees, unions would be in jeopardy. But in 25 right-to-work states, workers can already opt out of fees yet only one in five union workers exercised that right. (Fox News, January 11, 2016, by Vincent Vernuccio of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy)

David G. Savage of the Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2016, writes the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that public employees have limited free speech rights rejecting a free speech claim by a Los Angeles deputy district attorney in Los Angeles that he was demoted for objecting to a department practice.  A Washington attorney also pointed out that the court has not extended free speech rights to teachers in such cases as their refusal to teach evolution.

Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2016, argues that the case Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association was not about free speech but aimed at weakening the voices of teachers.

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