Trump Reacts to SCOTUS Ruling on Union Fees: 'Big Loss for the Coffers of the Democrats!'

By Susan Jones | June 27, 2018 | 10:40am EDT
The Supreme Court delivered the final opinions of the current term, including a major reversal on union fees, on Wednesday. (Photo: Screen capture/Supreme Court)

( - "States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees," the Supreme Court said in a 5-4 ruling on Wednesday.

President Trump was on twitter moments later: "Supreme Court rules in favor of non-union workers who are now, as an example, able to support a candidate of his or her choice without having those who control the Union deciding for them. Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!" the president wrote.

The majority opinion written by Samuel Alito said:

"The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them. Accordingly, neither an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay."

The Democrat National Committee called the decision "nothing more than blatant and disgraceful union busting that could slam the door on millions of hardworking Americans trying to make it into and stay in the middle class...Democrats believe that when unions succeed, America succeeds. We know that the right to organize and bargain collectively has helped build the middle class and create shared prosperity for millions of American families."

Today's Supreme Court ruling reverses one delivered 41 years ago, as Alito noted:

"We upheld a similar law in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. (1977), and we recognize the importance of following precedent unless there are strong reasons for not
doing so. But there are very strong reasons in this case. Fundamental free speech rights are at stake."

The plaintiff, Mark Janus, is employed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services as a child support specialist. Janus refused to join the union (AFSCME) that represents public employees in Illinois because he opposes many of the public policy positions that it advocatess.

But under his unit’s collective bargaining agreement, he was required to pay an agency fee of $44.58 per month.

Janus asked the Supreme Court to overrule its 1977 Abood decision and hold that public-sector agency-fee arrangements are unconstitutional.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Elana Kagan wrote:

"There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion. The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation’s law—and in 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 First Amendment was meant for better things," Kagan said in her concluding paragraph. "It was meant not to undermine but to protect democratic governance—including over the role of public-sector unions."

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