The court ruled for Dianne Knox and other nonmembers of the Service Employees International Union's Local 1000, who wanted to object and opt out of a $12 million special assessment the union required from its California public sector members for political campaigning.
Knox and others said the union did not give them a legally required notice that the increase was coming.
Here’s the case:
Issue: (1) May a state, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, condition employment on the payment of a special union assessment intended solely for political and ideological expenditures without first providing a notice that includes information about that assessment and provides an opportunity to object to its exaction?
(2) May a state, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, condition continued public employment on the payment of union agency fees for purposes of financing political expenditures for ballot measures?
Plain English Issue: Whether a state can require its employees to pay a special union fee that will be spent for political purposes without first giving the employees information about the fee and a chance to object to it.Read the full ruling here, even Ginsburg ruled against it.
“the First Amendment does not permit a union to extract a loan from unwilling nonmembers”From ZIP
The union, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said the annual notice that the union gives was sufficient. The high court disagreed in a 7-2 judgment written by Justice Samuel Alito.
"When a public-sector union imposes a special assessment or dues increase, the union must provide a fresh ... notice and may not exact any funds from nonmembers without their affirmative consent," Alito said.
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