WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear a case involving a
free-speech dispute between the state of Idaho and labor unions over payroll
deductions for political activities.
The state asked the justices to take the case, Ysursa v. Pocatello Education Association (07-869), which concerns an Idaho law
that prohibits cities, counties and school districts from making payroll
deductions for donations to political candidates or parties.
Five labor unions and the Idaho state AFL-CIO successfully challenged part of
the law in the lower federal courts.
A federal judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco
concluded that local units of government and school districts could choose to
stop making the payroll deductions, but that the state could not force them to
The dispute centered on the free-speech rights of labor unions stems from
Idaho's Voluntary Contributions Act passed by the state Legislature in 2003.