December 9, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – The likelihood of Donald Trump naming new justices to the Supreme Court has spurred anti-union groups to prepare new attempts to overturn labor-law protections.
On Nov. 21, two Illinois state employees, Mark Janus and Brian Trygg, filed their first brief in Janus v. AFSCME, backed by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Like the plaintiffs in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case the Court deadlocked on last year, the two claim that having to pay unions fees for representing them forces them to “subsidize” the “positions their unions advance in collective bargaining”—which, they argue, count as political speech because it involves public resources. The Court ruled that such fees were constitutional in the 1997 case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, but all of the judges Trump has said he would choose from “will be at least a very likely vote to overrule Abood and agency fees in the public sector,” says Seattle University School of Law professor Charlotte Garden. Anti-union forces have more than 20 similar cases in the pipeline. Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Foundation told the Illinois News Network that, “with the right justice, we could actually get a national right-to-work law for all government employees, thanks to the outcome of this past election.” Read more