Hi and welcome to The Freedom Update
In a ruling likely to have a ripple effect with public-employee unions all over the United States, a Seattle judge dismissed the central claim in a lawsuit filed by SEIU 775 against the Freedom Foundation.
The suit accused us of tortious interference with the union’s business expectancy in obtaining the dues of workers. Seattle Superior Court Judge Steve Rosen ruled our outreach efforts to the caregivers were a legitimate expression of free speech, which trumped any claims by the union.
Litigation Counsel, James Abernathy, said “The First Amendment won and SEIU lost. It took a long time getting to this point, but we’re gratified by the outcome.”
Here to tell us more about the unions’ tactics is David Dewhirst, Chief Litigation Counsel for the Freedom Foundation.
David Dewhirst: The Freedom Foundation has prevailed on the merits every time a judge has considered them in this lawsuit. But for the unions, this case isn’t about the merits, it’s about inflicting maximum damage against the Freedom Foundation through the discovery process. And it’s also about stalling for time because with every day that goes by, more dues money comes out of the paychecks of people who may not even know they’re in a union, let alone want to support one.
The Seattle ruling has implications beyond just Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case (Janus v. AFSCME) that has the potential to hand all public-sector employees the right to decide whether or not to affiliate with a labor union without fear of losing their jobs if they decline.
That’s all for this week—until next week, I’m Raimee Sluder—stay informed.