Trump Admin. Asks Supreme Court to Toss Out Union Precedent

Solicitor General Noel Francisco

Pro-union protestors outside the Supreme Court in 2016.

Jim West/ZUMA Press/NewscomThe Department of Justice is recommending that the Supreme Court rule that public sector employees can not be forced to contribute dues to unions, even when they're not members.

The administration also reversed an Obama administration stance by supporting OH in its bid to revive a state policy of purging people from voter-registration lists if they do not regularly cast ballots. But the court split 4 to 4 in the case after Justice Antonin Scalia died.

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The court accepted a new challenge on the issue in September when a child-support specialist for the state of IL challenged the American Federation of State, Court and Municipal Employees' ability to collect fees from union nonmembers, Politico said. Twenty-eight states have passed right-to-work laws blocking private-sector unions from collecting fees from union nonmembers, most recently Missouri (though unions will seek to overturn that state's right-to-work law, passed in February, in a referendum next year).

In the public sector, speech in collective bargaining is necessarily speech about public issues. Those fees, however, could not be used toward political actions.

The Justice Department agrees, arguing in its Wednesday brief that mandatory union fees offend bedrock constitutional principles. In that case, the Obama administration filed a brief backing the unions. With the ascent of Justice Neil Gorsuch as Scalia's successor, it appears the conservative bloc will achieve in Janus what it almost accomplished in Friedrichs.

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