First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
 
Justices step into dispute over union's use of nonmembers' dues

By The Associated Press
02.19.08

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court today stepped into a dispute over a labor union’s use of fees paid by non-union employees to finance the labor organization’s court battles in other states.

Twenty state workers in Maine are challenging the expenditure by the labor union that bargains on their behalf.

The nonmembers are required to pay a service fee for the union’s collective bargaining efforts and contract administration.

The Service Employees International Union relies on portions of the fees to subsidize lawsuits concerning SEIU units other than Local 1989 to which the 20 current and former state employees belong.

At issue is whether a state can condition public employment on the paying of fees for such purposes.

The case is the latest instance of the justices addressing issues that could erode the power of labor unions.

Last June, the court ruled that states may force public sector labor unions to get consent from workers before using their fees for political activities.

Three months ago, the court agreed to decide the validity of a state law that limits employers’ ability to weigh in on union organizing.

The case is Locke v. Karass, 07-610.


Related

Wash. governor OKs union-dues bill

Chris Gregoire signs measure into law despite criticism that it is clear labor-backed attempt to circumvent pending ruling by U.S. Supreme Court. 05.14.07

10th Circuit OKs political payroll deductions
Three-judge panel overturns Utah law that bars automatic withdrawals used to fund political activity by public-employee unions. 01.14.08

Public unions suffer setback over fees
By Tony Mauro Davenport shows shift away from labor unions in balancing First Amendment rights of unions, nonmembers.
  • Quick look
  • 06.15.07


    2007-08 Supreme Court case tracker

    News summary page
    View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.

    print this   Print


    Last system update: Thursday, August 21, 2008 | 16:21:01
     SEARCH  MORE
    About this site
    About the First Amendment
    About the First Amendment Center
    Video/RSS/podcasts
    First Amendment programs
    State of the First Amendment
    reports

    First Reports
    Supreme Court
    Experts
    Columnists
    First Amendment publications
    First Amendment Center history
    Glossary
    Freedom Sings™
    Events
    First Amendment
    Schools

    Congressional Research Service reports
    Guest editorials
    FOI material
    The First Amendment
    Library

    Lesson plans
    freedomforum.org
    Newseum
    Contact us
    Privacy statement
    Related links