On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a key case that could deal a massive blow to public unions nationwide. The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, deals with whether workers who benefit from union-negotiated contracts can avoid paying union dues if they opt not to join the union. The lead plaintiff, Mark Janus, is a child support specialist who argues that a state law in Illinois allowing the union to charge a fee for collective bargaining activities violates his First Amendment rights. Numerous right-wing groups have trumpeted his claim in their latest attempt to weaken the political power of public unions. The groups include the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, the State Policy Network, ALEC—American Legislative Exchange Council—and the Bradley Foundation. DN! speaks to Amanda Shanor, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed an amicus brief in Janus v. AFSCME in support of AFSCME.
Human Rights and Equality
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