In a partisan hearing, Rhode Island Sen. Whitehouse decided to use his time not to ask questions of the U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, but to go off on a rant about what he called “the Janus saga.” He spent a lot of his time attacking the Freedom Foundation and other pro-worker groups that supported the plaintiff, Mark Janus, and millions of other public employees around the country in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME.
Janus gave public employees the ability to opt out of their union and stop paying union dues. The decision was a blow to liberals like Sen. Whitehouse who rely on government unions to fund and support their campaigns. The Janus decision was supported by the Freedom Foundation in the form of two amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
In fact, we’re proud to say key language used in Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in Janus was lifted almost word for word from one of our briefs — and continues to form the basis of a number of lawsuits currently being litigated and headed, hopefully, to the Supreme Court for resolution.
We’re flattered that the Freedom Foundation was among the names cited in Whitehouse’s rant, with our name prominently displayed on one of the many visual aids Whitehouse produced to support his conspiratorial claims during the second day of questioning on Tuesday.
“(D)ark-money-funded private organizations hunt for plaintiffs of convenience to bring cases before the Supreme Court that advance the big donors’ agenda,” Whitehouse hyperventilated, “while other dark money-funded organizations appear at the court by the orchestrated dozen as ‘friends of the Court’ to instruct the corporate-selected judges how to rule.”
Whitehouse gives too much credit to the Freedom Foundation; it didn’t take much “hunting” for us to find plaintiffs for our 65 ongoing lawsuits. Our phones ring daily with calls from public employees whose unions are attempting to illegally take money from their paychecks, and we exist to help them.
The Freedom Foundation is supported by thousands of donors across the country who believe and support the work we do; it’s nothing compared to the schemes of government unions. We educate and assist public employees in opting out of their unions and putting those dollars back in their pockets. This drives union-backed politicians like Whitehouse mad, because one result of public employees exercising their civil rights is that government unions have less money to spend on their campaigns. It’s not a dark money scheme, it happens in broad daylight and the Freedom Foundation’s fight against the corruption of government unions at the doors and in the courts is obviously hitting a nerve.
The Freedom Foundation is a national leader in the fight to expose the abuses of government employee unions and would argue the merits of this case and any others that support the freedom of employees to make their own decisions about union membership.