Schuette statement on Janus ruling
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today issued the following statement on the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Janus v American Federation Of State, County, And Municipal Employees, Council 31, Et Al.:
"The U.S. Supreme Court determined today that workers have the right to make decisions for themselves, and the right to determine whether or not they contribute to a public sector union. First Amendment rights have once again prevailed in America. This crucial decision by the Supreme Court is another example of the importance of President Trump’s selection of rule of law judges who have upheld our Constitution in this ruling."
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor.
The court's conservative majority scrapped a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join.
The 5-4 decision fulfills a longtime wish of conservatives to get rid of the so-called fair share fees that non-members pay to unions in roughly two dozen states. Organized labor is a key Democratic constituency.
The court ruled that the laws violate the First Amendment by compelling workers to support unions they may disagree with.
"States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees," Justice Samuel Alito said in his majority opinion in the latest case in which Justice Neil Gorsuch, an appointee of President Donald Trump, provided a key fifth vote for a conservative outcome.
Trump himself tweeted his approval of the decision while Alito still was reading a summary of it from the bench.
"Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!" Trump said in the tweet.
In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote of the big impact of the decision. "There is no sugarcoating today's opinion. The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation's law - and its economic life - for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy."
The court's three other liberal justices joined the dissent.
The court split 4-4 the last time it considered the issue in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Last year, unions strongly opposed Gorsuch's nomination by Trump.