The Freedom Foundation recently contributed a brief in a case currently pending before the United States Supreme Court that asks whether licensed attorneys, like public sector employees, have the right to refuse having their money taken and spent on politics without their consent.
Specifically, McDonald v. Firth concerns attorneys who are currently being forced to contribute money, against their will, to so-called “mandatory bar associations.”
While a sizeable number of states allow their members to make their own decisions about whether to contribute money to a bar’s activities to purportedly improve the legal profession, the majority of states still require it as a condition of practicing law.
If all these bar associations did was regulate the legal profession, perhaps objecting attorneys might decide to voluntarily contribute their money without being forced to do so. Unfortunately, like the vast majority of public sector unions, the money taken is often spent on the bar association’s own political pet projects, rather than topics germane to the law.
Pet projects that members are forced to support, whether they agree or not.
Firth concerns an issue much bigger than just the rights of attorneys. If the government can pick and choose whose constitutional rights count and whose don’t, whether attorneys, public sector employees, or anyone else, there won’t be much left of the Bill of Rights.