Teachers in Court

In The News | Yahoo! | Jan. 24, 2007

ustice Clarence Thomas stayed mum, as usual, but all eight of his colleagues got into the act two weeks ago when the Supreme Court heard argument in the case of a teachers union. When oral argument ended at noon, most observers probably thought the union's luck had run out with the clock, but these things are tough to call...Seven years ago the free-spirited Evergreen Freedom Foundation, the National Right to Work Legal Foundation and the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission combined in suits against the union...

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Union striking out in court?

In The News | The Columbian | Jan. 18, 2007

State taxpayers should be antsy for a coming U.S. Supreme Court ruling that concerns one of the state's largest groups of employees: educators..."The arguments Wednesday turned largely on whose First Amendment rights were at stake. Lawyers for the state, backed by the Bush administration, argued that the most important rights in the case belong to employees, who shouldn't be forced to support causes with which they disagree. Lawyers for the union say its rights to lobby are being infringed by the Washington restrictions."....

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Restore workers' constitutional rights

In The News | Washington Times | Jan. 10, 2007

Despite the fact that 43 percent of voters from union households cast their ballots for President Bush in 2004 (according to a national exit poll commissioned by the Los Angeles Times), labor unions have routinely directed more than 90 percent of their political expenditures to the candidates and causes of the Democratic Party. Of course that's outrageous. However, what has been happening in the state of Washington is even more outrageous. So much, in fact, that the Supreme Court of Washington state has turned the First Amendment upside-down....

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Legislative Privilege, Free Speech

In The News | US News | Jan. 12, 2007

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Washington v. Washington Education Association. This is an appeal of the judgment by the Washington Supreme Court that the state National Education Association's First Amendment rights were violated by a 1992 law adopted by the voters in referendum. The law requires that the union get opt-in approval from nonmember teachers before deducting from their paychecks the portion of fees used for political purposes....

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Our View: Dues and Don'ts

Opinion-Editorial | Spokesman Review | Jan. 12, 2007

As recently as the 1970s, leaders of Washington's largest teachers union disputed that label, and members recoiled from it. The Washington Education Association considered itself a professional organization, devoted to instructional quality. A union? No way...

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Supreme Court Shows an Anti-Union Hand

In the News | Legal Times | Jan. 12, 2007

The Supreme Court struck a new anti-union note Wednesday during oral arguments that pointed toward a ruling against the Washington state teachers union in a First Amendment dispute over how it should collect fees from nonmembers.....

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Supreme Court Considers Union Spending

AUDIO | NPR | Jan. 11, 2007

The Supreme Court is set to review a case that could determine how unions are allowed to spend member dues. Some teachers in Washington State say their dues were spent improperly on political lobbying. Dahlia Lithwick, legal analyst for Day to Day and the online magazine Slate, talks with Alex Chadwick......

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High Court Sorts Through Challenge on Union Fees

AUDIO | NPR | Jan. 11, 2007

The Supreme Court hears arguments on a case challenging how unions may spend fees paid to them by nonmembers. The question: Can nonmembers decline to have those fees used for political activities?...

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Labor's Money Grab

In the News | Wall Street Journal | Jan. 10, 2007

Compulsory dues are the financial foundation of Big Labor's political power. So you can bet union officials will be paying special attention today as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case that could affect how that money may be spent.....

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Just Say No Twice

In the News | Slate | Jan. 10, 2007

There's nothing clear about the legal claims in this morning's consolidated cases of Davenport v. WEA and Washington v. WEA. Indeed the constitutional questions before the court are so fuzzy that the justices spend loads of time just trying to clarify with the advocates precisely what these constitutional questions are.....

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Supreme Court to hear arguments in case that could affect Colorado

In the News | Greeley Tribune | Jan. 10, 2007

In 1992, voters in Washington approved a sweeping campaign finance initiative limiting donations for candidates in statewide races. Tucked into the ballot measure was an obscure and little-publicized provision requiring unions to receive the express consent of nonmembers before spending their money on political causes. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether that requirement violates the First Amendment in a case that could spur similar state laws and further weaken the influence of organized labor....

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For dissident teachers, the right to limit dues

In the News | Seattle Times | Jan. 10, 2007

In the Washington Education Association case argued Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court, most of the justices seemed to side with Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, who was representing the rights of the dissident teachers. So do we. The case has been portrayed as an attack on unions. It really is not...

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Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Union's Method of Collecting Agency Fees

In the News | NEA.org | Jan. 10, 2007

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in a case that anti-labor groups are using to attack the basic First Amendment rights of unions they oppose...

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Unions' Use of Fees Up for Review by Supreme Court

In The News | National Law Journal | Jan. 9, 2007

Labor unions, money and elections intersect in the U.S. Supreme Court this week in a case testing the ability of states to restrict unions' use of nonmember fees in political activities...

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Free-speech dispute over union fees

Opinion Editorial | CSmonitor.com | Jan. 9, 2007

The US Constitution forbids unions from using fees collected from nonunion workers to finance political activities unless the nonmembers grant permission. Without consent, such action would raise the specter of nonmembers being dragooned into subsidizing political efforts they may not support. And that would violate the free speech and association clauses of the First Amendment. But how much permission is necessary?...

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Union dues case a chance to protect right-to-work laws

Opinion Editorial | Spokesman Review | Jan. 9 , 2007

On Jan. 10, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Davenport v. Washington Education Association, a case with important implications for employee rights. It's a clash between individuals who desire neither union representation nor being forced to fund union politicking — and union officials who want to seize every dollar they can. The case arose out of an attempt in Washington state to regulate the use of forced union dues for certain political purposes. In 1992, voters approved a campaign finance law that included a provision compelling government union officials to obtain prior consent from non-members who must accept unionization as a condition of employment...

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Union fight reaches high court

In The News | Seattle Times | Jan. 9, 2007

In an appeal of a Washington state case, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether labor unions must get permission before spending nonmembers' fees on political activities. The case, which is scheduled for oral arguments in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, is the latest clash in a nationwide war between labor unions and anti-union forces. Union leaders say they are fighting to preserve their rights to political free speech...

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High Court To Decide Uses For Union Dues

In The News | January 8, 2007
WASHINGTON -- When some public school teachers in Washington state learned their union was using money for political causes without their approval, they sued the labor organization. "They just spent a lot of their money on things that have nothing to do with the workplace," said Cindy Omlin, a retired speech pathology teacher from Spokane....
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McKenna argues first case before US Supreme Court

News Release | January 8, 2007

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna will make his first appearance before the United States Supreme Court Wednesday, presenting the state’s argument in Washington v. Washington Education Association. McKenna will ask the US Supreme Court to reverse a Washington State Supreme Court decision, ruling part of Washington’s voter-approved campaign finance law unconstitutional.

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Unions' Policy Test

In the News | January 8, 2007

Organized labor won big last year when Washington state's highest court struck down a law making it harder for unions to spend mandatory fees collected from nonmembers on political campaigns. The ruling seemed likely to end a long-running dispute between the state teachers' union and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group in Olympia, Wash., that is critical of unions and is determined to reduce their role in politics and education. More broadly, the decision stood to influence courts in other states confronted with similar battles over labor's use of dues and fees in the political arena...

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High Court to Decide Uses for Union Dues - Forbes.com

In the News | January 8, 2007

The man whose name is on a labor-limiting lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear this week says politics, not a dislike of unions, kept him from joining up when he got his teaching job in 1998...The Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank, sought out Davenport and other nonmember teachers after fighting for years with the Washington Education Association over the union's collection of fees from workers who choose not to join...

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The Right Not To Contribute

Speech Impediment

School Lessons From New York

State of the Unions

U.S. Supreme Court urged to uphold limitation on the use of union fees for political purposes

Campaign rules need clarification

Court Needs Lesson On First Amendment

Workers' Rights

Mackinac Center Amicus Curiae Brief in Davenport v. Washington Education Association and Washington v. Washington Education Association

Issue Brief: The Foundation's U.S. Supreme Court Case

Issue Heads to High Court

Supreme Court to Consider Wash. Union Case

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Union Fees

Opening briefs filed in U.S. Supreme Court case

Supreme Court Asked to Reject Effort to Extend McConnell v. FEC to Govern Union "Opt-In" Requirement

For Unions, a Supreme Test of Fairness











Opinion - Editorial | October 29 , 2006
Oct. 29--A fundamental American freedom is being able to spend -- or not spend -- one's own money on political campaigns, for persons or initiatives. Money forcibly taken from a person to support a candidate or initiative that the person opposes is a form of tyranny. In early November, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearings on an important case, Washington vs. Washington Education Association. In it, the state of Washington is defending Proposition 134, which its voters passed with 72 percent of the vote in 1992, against a powerful union, the WEA. The appeal is to overturn a March 2006 ruling by the Washington state Supreme Court that Prop. 134 is unconstitutional.Under state and federal law, even nonunion teachers must be represented by the WEA for collective bargaining purposes on their teaching contracts, and have dues for that purpose deducted from their paychecks. That's not at issue.At issue are teachers who are not members of the WEA, and whether the WEA can take additional money from nonmembers' paychecks to be used for political purposes. Under Prop. 134, this is not allowed. Instead, a nonunion teacher must "affirmatively authorize" use of the money for union political activities.Michael Reitz, director and legal analyst for the Labor Policy Center of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a conservative Washington state think tank that is helping the workers, said that Supreme Court case law already allows a nonunion employee to opt out of the use of political dues for political purposes by a public or private union. But the employee must take the first action, requesting a refund of the money.Prop. 134, if upheld, would reverse the process, making the union ask nonunion employees first if their money can be used for political purposes. This is important because many employees simply don't realize that the money is being deducted from their paychecks.This case is especially important to Californians because Washington's Prop. 134 is similar to California's Proposition 75, which voters defeated in November 2005 but which could come back in another form on a future ballot. Prop. 75 would have required all employees represented by public-employee unions -- members and non-members -- to give their prior consent before their union dues were used for political purposes.The U.S. Supreme Court will begin briefings on the case Nov. 8 and likely will decide the case next year. We urge the court to uphold Prop. 134. Coercion should play no role in raising money for political campaigns.Copyright (c) 2006, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.


Supreme Court to Hear Union Fee Case
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 Supreme Court to Hear Union Fee Case




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