Rebecca Friedrich, a veteran Orange County teacher, must keep paying her union dues even though she doesn’t support her union while enjoying the benefits of her union’s work. That’s because the Supreme Court just split 4-4 upholding a lower court ruling and underscoring why it’s critical for the Senate to do their jobs and give Judge Merrick Garland a hearing. It’s clear, if Justice Antonin Scalia were still alive, Friedrich would have won her case.
From the LA Times: “The Supreme Court announced a tie vote today in what labor law experts had called a “life-or-death” case for public employee unions.
The split decision preserves a long-standing rule that requires about half of the nation’s teachers, transit workers and other public employees to pay a “fair share fee” to support their union.
The tie vote will come as a relief to union officials who feared the conservative court was on the brink of striking down the pro-union laws that authorized these fees.
It’s also the strongest sign yet that the court’s conservatives cannot muster a majority to rule in their favor. At the oral argument in December, it looked as though the mandatory union dues would be struck down.
The National Education Assn. — the nation’s largest union, with 3 million members — hailed the decision as a victory.
“The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a political ploy to silence public employees like teachers, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, higher education faculty and other educators to work together to shape their profession,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.”