Most years we Americans mark Independence Day with a barbecue, a few fireworks and hopefully a little reflection about what the Founding Fathers created 242 years ago.
This year, however, there’s genuine, newly affirmed independence to celebrate.
As you surely know by now, the U.S. Supreme Court last week righted a 40-year-old wrong by overturning Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which recognized that forcing government workers to subsidize the political activities of their designated union was a violation of their First Amendment rights … then went ahead and did it anyway.
In Janus v. AFSCME, the court finally got it right. The ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito and signed by Justices Kennedy, Thomas and Gorsuch, along with Chief Justice Roberts, recognized that virtually everything a union does is inherently political. Thus, the workers can be forced to pay for none of it.
Not with dues, not with agency fees.
No longer do government employees all over the country have independence in name only. Henceforth, they’re truly free to decide for themselves whether to associate with a labor union – and you can bet millions of them won’t.
Even better, Alito’s opinion was unequivocal in stating that unions can no longer simply assume a worker is a union member until her or she opts out. Rather, the burden is on the union to show every one of its members affirmatively opted in.
This is a critical distinction – one that opens up all sorts of legal opportunities for the Freedom Foundation that you’ll be hearing more about in the weeks and months ahead.
In the meantime, have a safe and happy Fourth of July.
This year, there’s more for freedom-loving people/Americans to celebrate than in any year we can remember. But the real fun begins next week, when we start holding the unions’ feet to the fire and making them abide by laws there’s no longer any question prohibit what they’ve been doing for too long.