THE SUPREME COURT “Public sector unions have to be deeply troubled — in fact, scared,” By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading



Power of the Court

Public-employee unions face a reckoning Monday when the Supreme Court hears a long-anticipated lawsuit seeking to strip them of the power to bill collective-bargaining costs to employees who don’t want to pay. The case arrives at the court as a dispute between a state employee in Springfield, Ill., and the union that represents his bargaining unit over a $45 monthly payroll deduction. The stakes are much higher: A ruling for the plaintiff would sap the strength of public-employee unions in states where they have been a pillar of the Democratic Party coalition.

The court deadlocked 4-4 on the same issue two years ago in a case brought by a group of California teachers opposed to paying the dues. Since then, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch has joined the court, and he seems all but certain to provide the fifth vote opponents need to strike the fees down. “Public sector unions have to be deeply troubled — in fact, scared,” says Tom Goldstein, publisher of SCOTUS Blog. “The court’s conservatives have signaled strongly that this critical funding tool is going to be struck down.”  At stake is the financial health of public sector unions in the 22 states where they bargain for both members and nonmembers alike.

The case is brought by Mark Janus, an Illinois public sector employee. He says that because he is a government employee, issues germane to collective bargaining are inherently political. He argues that the First Amendment protects him from having to support such political expression.
He is represented by groups such as the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Liberty Justice Center who argue that approximately 5 million public sector employees are required — as a condition of their employment — to “subsidize the speech of a third party that they may not support, namely the government-appointed exclusive representative.”
Jacob H. Huebert, one of Janus’ lawyers, says his client specifically does not support the union’s advocacy for increased spending, especially given Illinois’ current fiscal condition. “A lot of people in the private sector in Illinois are struggling with an increased tax burden and a stagnant economy and Mark Janus doesn’t think it’s fair to put more demands on his neighbors at a time like this,” said Huebert.

Keep those stops tight
Todd “Bubba” Horwitz


Financial & Political Commentary



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About the author

Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.