Our friends at SCOTUSblog have been running a symposium on Janus v. AFSCME [Briefs] – the case in which I have a hunch the US Supreme Court will declare public sector unions' "fair share" or "agency shop" agreements to be in violation of the 1st amendment. (The Court will hear oral arguments on February 26.)
Here are the links to several articles, with a brief quote from each:
The importance of respecting precedent - Michael Kimberly. "I doubt that Abood would have been decided the same way if it had been litigated more recently. But as the court has said time and again, mere disagreement with precedent is no basis for overruling it."
Hijacked riders, not free riders - Andree Blumstein. "The nonmembers are not free riders; they are hijacked riders. Mandatory agency fees compel nonmembers’ union association. Mandatory agency fees also compel those who pay them to support particular speech. The nonmembers are forced to support a government-sanctioned advocacy organization to lobby the government and to influence public policies on behalf of a special-interest group from which they have purposefully disassociated themselves."
A ruling for plaintiffs would revive Lochner - Catherine Fisk. "The Lochner-era invalidation of labor laws has been deplored for 80 years as judicial activism, politicians in robes substituting their deregulatory views of labor policy for those of the elected representatives. The court cannot rule for the plaintiffs in Janus without reviving under the First Amendment the very judicial activism that it wisely discarded in 1937."
Overrule Abood to protect individual rights (at long last) - Deborah La Fetra. "The Supreme Court may now overrule Abood entirely and repudiate public-employee unions’ ability to garnish workers’ paychecks for the inherently political act of collective bargaining for taxpayer-funded wages and benefits. These garnished wages come from the paychecks of government employees — paid from taxpayer dollars — to subsidize efforts to expand union power and increase government spending still further: an endless cycle of government funding the demand for its own growth, all at the expense of citizens and dissenting workers who are forced to bankroll the enterprise."
For the third time, justices take on union-fee issue: In Plain English - Amy Howe. "The justices are sometimes skeptical of changes in position, but this may be a case in which a switch may not make much of a difference. If (as seems very possible) eight justices have already made up their minds, all that really matters may be what Gorsuch thinks."