Supreme Court conservatives on rise as important term begins

But it is constitutional, the court added, to require nonmembers to help pay for the union's collective bargaining efforts to prevent freeloading and to ensure "labor peace".

The ruling issued in March 2016 was evenly split, setting no new legal precedent and leaving the existing system in place.

The Supreme Court begins its new term next week, with Neil Gorsuch seated for his first full term.

"This case is an especially poor vehicle to reconsider Abood's holding because it has no factual record", Madigan's brief said.

Janus is seeking to overturn a 1977 Supreme Court case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, that said public workers who refuse to join a union can still be required to pay for bargaining costs, as long as the fees don't go toward political purposes.

Those who defend the practice say unions are negotiating for that worker's pay and benefits whether they join or not, and therefore should pay dues because they benefit from the union's actions. "All other activities are not funded through fair share" said Webb-Gauvin.

Janus and Hartnett don't support unions, they don't want to pay those fees, and they, in separate lawsuits, assert that paying them violates their first amendment rights of free speech, because they say, the fees are the equivalent of speech promoting unions, and they don't agree. Unions tend to support Democrats in elections, although agency fees are not used for political activities.

The decision overturns more than 150 years of court decisions, said Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, a defendant.

In his eleven years on the federal bench, Justice Gorsuch has not had an occasion to consider the free speech rights of public employees.

"The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the freedom to come together in strong unions".

"The case has the potential to kill public sector unionism as we know it", said Keith Cunningham-Parmeter, a law professor at Willamette University who specializes in labor law.

With Thursday's additions, the Court has now granted review in 39 cases for the upcoming annual term.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider striking down mandatory fees that support collective bargaining by public sector labor unions in OR and several other states.

The executive order was put on hold when a judge in Downstate St. Clair County ordered the state to keep passing the fees along while the matter continued to play out in court.

Scalia has since been replaced by another conservative, Republican President Donald Trump's appointee Neil Gorsuch, who legal experts believe would be sympathetic toward the challenge and likely to rule against the IL law.

Three workers who also were contesting the payments were allowed to proceed with their own complaint.

The nation's highest court is set to take on a case that has the potential to financially cripple Democratic-leaning labor unions that represent government workers, the Associated Press reported.

The case brought by IL state worker Mark Janus argues that state employees should not be forced to pay union dues, if they do not support them.

  • Jack Mann