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The Supreme Court's Big Public Sector Union Case Is Really About Free Speech

Citations

Reason covers Janus v. AFSCME.

Mark Janus did not vote to join a union, and he does not support the union that he was forced to join as a condition of his job. Nevertheless, each month the Association of Federal, State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 13, takes a cut of Janus' paycheck.

Late next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will tackle the question of whether that should be legal. For now, unions in many states are able to collect mandatory dues payments from millions of public sector workers, whether or not those workers want those unions to speak for them. The unions, after all, don't just negotiate with employers about pay and working conditions; they regularly lobby for and against a range of public policies.

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While the case could have far-ranging implications for labor policy at all levels of government, it will likely turn on a relatively simple question: Does money equal speech?

In a newly published analysis of the arguments in the Janus case, Trey Kovacs, a policy analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says it does.

"Workers should not have to fund an organization with which they disagree in order to keep their jobs," says Koavks, "especially organizations like public-employee unions, which are inherently political."

Read the full article at Reason.