Unions Heading for Crushing Supreme Court Defeat

Jeff Malet/NC via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner launched an attack on union dues a couple of years ago, and any day now the Supreme Court is likely to hand him a victory:

The “money is speech” doctrine is back and at the heart of a case to be heard this month that threatens the financial foundation of public employee unions in 22 “blue” states….At issue in the union case is whether public employees can be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of collective bargaining and resolving grievances, even if they have personal objections to the union.

….Rauner’s challenge to union fees is likely to win favor from the court’s five more conservative justices, all of them Republican appointees. Two years ago, the court was set to strike down mandatory union fees in a case brought by a California schoolteacher. But the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia left the court split 4 to 4. Once Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, appointed by President Trump, was confirmed to fill Scalia’s seat, the court said it would decide the union fees issue in the case from Illinois.

Union members have been griping forever that Democrats don’t do enough for them. That’s probably true, since even when Dems are in power there’s no chance of passing any union-friendly legislation. Unions are second only to tax increases in the pantheon of Republican loathing.

That said, at least Democrats don’t try to tear unions down. When union members decide to “teach Democrats a lesson” in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania—and either stay home in disgust or else vote for Donald Trump to “send a message”—this is what happens.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate