The U.S. Supreme Court heard last week and is expected to decide this spring a case with immense implications for compulsory unionism and working people’s right to decline participation in political speech with which they disagree.
The case will test the Court’s usefulness in defending individual liberty against fundamentally corrupt relationships between Liberal government and the unions that help sustain it.
We did say “corrupt,” right? Yes, the litigation in Harris v. Quinn originated in Illinois.
It seems then-Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Federal Pen) and incumbent Governor Pat Quinn (D-Pat Quinn) both issued executive orders in 2003 and 2009 making the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) the exclusive bargaining unit for home health care workers. Illinois considers these workers state employees on the thin excuse that they’re compensated with Medicaid dollars, despite not working at state facilities, not being supervised by state officials, and being subject to firing by the private individuals who hire them.
Naturally, the SEIU used card-check to bypass pesky secret ballots and dragoon unwilling caregivers—some of whom simply care for family members—into paying compulsory dues.
In oral arguments last week, Justice Samuel Alito noted that after receiving a fat campaign contribution from the SEIU, Blagojevich promptly signed the order generating $3.6 million in mandatory dues for the union, including those paid by unwilling recruits.
The plaintiffs argue that besides violating their freedom of association, the union uses their money to advance policy choices they oppose, trampling their First Amendment rights.
Long ago, the practice of compelling people to support political positions with which they disagree was described as “evil” by a man today’s Democratic Party still claims as one of its heroes.
That was Thomas Jefferson, and now we know what the Democratic Party’s feigned reverence is worth.