The Supreme Court: Arming Goliath

While the activist judges on the Supreme court give more and bigger weapons to the powers that rule the land (You’re a corporation AND a person so you get the most favorable treatment for each and are protected from the liabilities) it is also busy stealing David’s stones.

On Monday a 5-to-4 majority of the Supreme Court fired its own salvo in the war on unions. Though its decision in Harris v. Quinn was narrow, saying that, in some cases, unions could not collect fees from one particular class of public employees who did not want to join, its language suggests that this may be the court’s first step toward nationalizing the “right to work” gospel by embedding it in constitutional law.

…[As it has been ] workers can’t be forced to join a union or contribute to its political and ideological activities, but they can be required to pay for the cost of the union’s collective bargaining and contract-administration activities.

The majority in Harris saw things differently. Making workers pay anything to a union they oppose is in tension with their First Amendment rights — “something of an anomaly,” in the words of the majority. But the real anomaly lies in according dissenters a right to refuse to pay for the union’s services — services that cost money to deliver, and that put money in the pockets of all employees.

Once selected by a majority of workers in a bargaining unit, a union becomes the exclusive representative, with a duty to fairly represent all of them. That is the bedrock of our public and private sector labor laws.

Unless everyone is required to pay for those services, individual workers can easily become “free riders,” taking the benefits of collective representation without paying their fair share of the costs.

NY Times: Estlund and Forbath

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