Unions Heading for Crushing Supreme Court Defeat

Jeff Malet/NC via ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner launched an attack on union dues a couple of years ago, and any day now the Supreme Court is likely to hand him a victory:

The “money is speech” doctrine is back and at the heart of a case to be heard this month that threatens the financial foundation of public employee unions in 22 “blue” states….At issue in the union case is whether public employees can be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of collective bargaining and resolving grievances, even if they have personal objections to the union.

….Rauner’s challenge to union fees is likely to win favor from the court’s five more conservative justices, all of them Republican appointees. Two years ago, the court was set to strike down mandatory union fees in a case brought by a California schoolteacher. But the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia left the court split 4 to 4. Once Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, appointed by President Trump, was confirmed to fill Scalia’s seat, the court said it would decide the union fees issue in the case from Illinois.

Union members have been griping forever that Democrats don’t do enough for them. That’s probably true, since even when Dems are in power there’s no chance of passing any union-friendly legislation. Unions are second only to tax increases in the pantheon of Republican loathing.

That said, at least Democrats don’t try to tear unions down. When union members decide to “teach Democrats a lesson” in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania—and either stay home in disgust or else vote for Donald Trump to “send a message”—this is what happens.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate