AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to protect the free speech rights of workers in declaring that unions are no longer allowed to extract fees from non-members. Mark Janus, who brought the suit against a local Illinois union, declined to join the group because he opposed many of its political positions and activities.
“The Janus decision is about free speech and the First Amendment,” said Chuck DeVore, TPPF’s vice president of national initiatives. “No American should be forced by their government to participate in speech opposed to their beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court decision protects government workers' free speech rights."
The case, Janus vs AFSCME, reverses a 1977 decision that allowed unions to charge non-members with fees, arguing that non-members benefited from the union’s bargaining agreements. Justice Samuel Alito writing for the majority dismissed this reasoning saying unions routinely represent non-members even when the fees aren’t required and “States can avoid free riders through less restrictive means than the imposition of agency fees.”