The Freedom Foundation’s recent appeal of a potentially game-changing labor reform lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court has attracted some impressive backing.
At last count, a total of six amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs had been submitted by nine different groups composed of elected officials, public policy organizations, individuals and the attorneys general for 13 U.S. states.
The case, Belgau v. Inslee, argues that the court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME does more than just outlaw mandatory union membership, dues or fees for public employees. It also includes language requiring unions to prove workers have been advised of their newly affirmed rights and that they have knowingly agreed to waive them before any dues can be deducted from their wages.
If the court agrees to hear the appeal, which was filed in February, it has the potential to void virtually every public-sector union contract in the country — and deny the unions billions in dues money — with the stroke of a pen.
Janus only damaged government employee unions. Belgau is a kill shot. Rather than employees having to fight their way to freedom, unions will have to find a way to coax millions of workers to come back voluntarily.”
The plaintiffs in the case are all Washington public employees whose request to opt out was denied by their union.
Lower court judges have been reluctant to interpret Janus so broadly, but the language of the ruling is unambiguous — and the Supreme Court has an even stronger conservative majority now than in 2018.
The list of organizations submitting or joining briefs agreeing with the Freedom Foundation and its plaintiffs includes:
- the Citizen Action Defense Fund, on behalf of a coalition of two serving Washington state senators and six members of the Washington State House of Representatives;
- the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation;
- the Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center;
- the Ohio-based Buckeye Institute;
- the Landmark Legal Foundation;
- the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute;
- by the National Taxpayers Union;
- the Michigan-based Mackinac Center; and,
- the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
The Freedom Foundation can’t imagine a more gratifying show of support. The organizations represented on this list are the cream when it comes to organizations standing up for workers’ rights and the Constitution, and the arguments they advance were formulated by some of the nation’s most respected legal minds. They have our heartfelt thanks.