Patterico's Pontifications

6/21/2012

SEIU Loses In Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:24 am

I would have thought this is obvious, but apparently it took a Supreme Court decision to say that unions can’t force members to pay for political activity they disagree with:

The Supreme Court today rejected, on First Amendment grounds, the idea that government-employee unions can charge non-members for political activities, even if they refund the money later.

The Court, in an opinon by Justice Samuel Alito, held that employees can be required to pay dues in exchange for the benefits they get from collective bargaining, but can’t be forced to effectively lend money to the union for political activities they disagree with. It was a blow to the Service Employees International Union, which first tried to make the case moot by offering refunds, and then argued it would be too difficult to get the assent of non-members before launching a campaign to defeat legislation it considered a threat to its existence.

Having the Supreme Court not be controlled by a bunch of liberal bozos is important.

33 Responses to “SEIU Loses In Supreme Court”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (906cfb)

  2. Pretty outrageous position for the SEIU in the first place.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. Let us hope this is just the front of a storm of good sense.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  4. Breyers’s dissent in the case was weak to say the least – His rationale was that since the non-union employees had administrative procedures, not withstanding the cumbersomeness of those procedures, that it wasn’t a constitutional question as to whether the union was abusing those employee’s constitutional rights.

    Because the union set up procedures that insured that saome, but not most of the non-union members would get a refund of some but not all the political portion of the dues it was therefore okay doesn’t seem to conform the the Hudson case.

    Joe_dallas (a00dc1)

  5. It was a unanimous decision, wasn’t it? (A partial dissent by just two of the liberals, who nonetheless agreed with the main decision?)

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  6. It’s not “liberal” bozos per se, but justices who are plain and simple extensions of the Democratic Party, and I think that will be Kagan’s function.

    As for Breyer, he has little use for the First Amendment.

    Glen Wishard (88ea55)

  7. Does this apply to public sector unions or all of them? I’m always interested in new ways to stir the pot at my union meetings.

    BradnSA (980254)

  8. “…argued it would be too difficult to get the assent of non-members before launching a campaign to defeat legislation it considered a threat to its existence.”

    Response: “Tough. Learn to live with disappointment.”

    Space Cockroach (8096f2)

  9. According to the article, it’s only public sector unions.

    aunursa (7014a8)

  10. Jeez, good. Then it would have been “Oh we spent your money already so we can’t refund your money” if the ruling was their way.

    Kaitian (da9520)

  11. This, on top of the win in WI, and the advancement of the “Right To Work” philosophy in the Rust-Belt (and other places), are just additional chinks in the Labor Movement armor.
    The election in ’08 may have been the apogee of their influence, and the beginning of the end of their presence in public-sector employment.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  12. I will remember this case when I pull the lever for Romney. Another four years of Obama / totally changing the balance of the Court is too high a price to pay to send a message to the GOP (even though I do wish I could send that message and never get the chance because of our idiotic primary system).

    Dustin (330eed)

  13. ________________________________________________

    Having the Supreme Court not be controlled by a bunch of liberal bozos is important.

    No thanks to one of the nine justices who, among other things, believes the US Constitution isn’t worth emulating. However, I’ll give Ruth “Bozo” Ginsburg some slack if she truly cringes at and resents the various forms of suppressed free speech in today’s culture that has led to political correctness run amok. But I wouldn’t be surprised if she instead is one of the many liberals who considers acknowledgement of harsh reality and simple candor as somehow obscene, and, in turn, becomes far more indignant about the idea of even modest restrictions imposed upon those using the public airwaves.

    AP: The court’s 1978 Pacifica decision upheld the FCC’s reprimand of a New York radio station for airing a George Carlin monologue containing a 12-minute string of expletives in the middle of the afternoon.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in a brief opinion that she would have overturned the Pacifica ruling, which she called wrong even when it was decided.

    Mark (03a3fc)

  14. It’s unfortunate that it takes SCOTUS to do what the state legislature refuses to do, define the limits of closed shop unions. When it was ruled that unions could charge non-members only for collective bargaining expenses, the unions responded by calculating that all the benefits of membership, including political activities, was valued at one dollar. The rest of union dues were for collective bargaining.The state was forced to require a better accounting, but again left it to the unions to make the calculations.

    This case illustrates how blatant the unions can be in using collective bargaining dues to support political action. The decision is another step in restraining public sector unions that have become political power centers. We’re still short of the best outcome, outlawing collective bargaining for public sector workers, but we’re headed in the right direction.

    Lorenzo (58bb69)

  15. the best outcome, outlawing collective bargaining for public sector workers

    Amen.

    Dustin (330eed)

  16. Ed Schultz’s head just assploded.

    Icy (1ed9b3)

  17. Knox v. SEIU, 10-1121
    The Ninth Circuit is reversed (of course) by 7-2.
    Opinion by Alito. Justice Sotomayor concurs in the judgment, joined by Ginsburg.
    Breyer dissented, joined by Kagan.

    Neo (d1c681)

  18. Remember one of the early moves of President Transparency was to reduce public disclosures required of union officials.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  19. QUOTE: “Breyers’s dissent in the case was weak to say the least – His rationale was that since the non-union employees had administrative procedures, not withstanding the cumbersomeness of those procedures, that it wasn’t a constitutional question as to whether the union was abusing those employee’s constitutional rights.”

    Reminds me of another cumbersome administrative procedure. It involved going into the cellar of the building, with a flashlight (mind the missing stairs!), in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in an unused bathroom (the one with the sign stating “Beware of the leopard”).

    Another Anon (f43943)

  20. Comment by Dustin — 6/21/2012 @ 10:15 am

    I will remember this case when I pull the lever for Romney. Another four years of Obama / totally changing the balance of the Court is too high a price to pay to send a message to the GOP

    But what if Romney won’t really name conservatives on the constitution, and then he loses the 2016 election and Andrew Cuomo becomes President and names liberal justices to replace conservatives?

    While a re-elected Obama might only replace Ginsberg, and then you’d have a more rvative Republican after him?

    What looks good could be bad and what looks bad could be good.

    ________________________________________________

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  21. what if Romney won’t really name conservatives on the constitution

    Oh, I’m pretty sure his appointments will be far from what I would find ideal. Yet I’m also sure they will be better than Obama’s. I’m estimating 50% Souter 50% Thomas, and this is being generous to Romney given his record.

    While a re-elected Obama might only replace Ginsberg

    Scalia and Thomas are not getting any younger.

    then he loses the 2016 election

    Hopefully he loses the 2016 election at the primary stage. I’ll change my tune the day the budget is balanced. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Right now, what matters is that Romney’s appointments, at worst, will be much better than Obama’s.

    Dustin (330eed)

  22. “The Ninth Circuit is reversed….”

    I hope they have a cut and paste macro setup for that line as often as they use it. Would save a lot of time.

    Anchovy (8e927c)

  23. re: I would have thought this is obvious, but apparently it took a Supreme Court decision to say that unions can’t force members to pay for political activity they disagree with:

    This decision didn’t address forcing MEMBERS, only non-members or agency fee payers to pay for political activity, and, it did not do much to narrow what is considered political, lobbying for example is not considered to be political when you read through the opinion.

    I read the dissent. Seemed to have missed the obvious about opting out and how it could get unwieldy if an opt out was allowed more than once a year. The reverse is so much easier, assume opt out for non-members, and require consent from non-members on an annual basis. We are an agency fee payer household as we are California public school teachers. Each year we opt out and send the opt out back via registered mail. The opt out occurs after several months of political money have been pulled out, so we get a check back every time. That’s an example of the extracted loan in the majority opinion.

    HChambers (228b38)

  24. When I was forced to be in a PEU, I sued to stop from being forced to pay for the union campaign donations. I and several others. We won, of course, and found out that there are many suits like this and the employees always win. Of course the unions don’t tell you that: you have to sue to find out.

    Dumb move on their part to take it to the SCOTUS. Of course they slapped the unions down!

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  25. “I would have thought this is obvious…..”

    That’s the scary part : it IS obvious. It is frightening, and obviusly unconstitutional, what is going on in the lower courts.

    john b (113909)

  26. I love the sound of gov’t unions being pushed out from under the money tree.

    The Sanity Inspector (93bc4f)

  27. Mr. Inspector!

    You’re alive not unlike cree summer and michael dell but not joan miro.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  28. _________________________________________________

    But what if Romney won’t really name conservatives on the constitution,

    I want to say “huh?!,” because with Obama remaining in the White House through 2016, it’s a 100%, total, absolute, guaranteed, slam-dunk certainty that the Supreme Court will tilt very much to the left. Although it’s not a given what will happen with Romney as president (eg, Bush Sr nominating David Souter), with Obama it’s a no-brainer.

    Mark (3d897d)

  29. I love the sound of gov’t unions being pushed out from under the money tree.

    Push them out harder, so that that oncoming bus may run over them.
    Then, they’ll be able to rejoin many other FOO’s.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  30. Wow, Awesome this is perfect sutff :)
    [img]http://i1069.photobucket.com/albums/u476/marry38382/xray.jpg[/img]

    jackey (8f985e)

  31. Wow, Awesome this is perfect sutff :)

    jackey (8f985e)

  32. # 24 patricia

    Dumb move on their part to take it to the SCOTUS

    After Scotus granted cert – the union tried to make arrangements to refund the money – so as to make the controversy no longer active. Neither party has standing to go to court if the matter is settled – hence SEUI’s attempt to make the controversy moot.

    Joe (5e0a70)

  33. I had dinner with some educated, nice people last night who did not know that money deducted from PEU paychecks goes to campaign donations, at least 80% of the loot. “So they’re negotiating for money for themselves,” they exclaimed.

    Light bulb moment.

    Patricia (e1d89d)


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