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Holding Government Unions Accountable

Janus v. AFSCME (Part II)

Case Status

Date Filed

April 9, 2020

Last Step

The Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Next Step

Case Overview

In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment forbids governments from forcing their employees to pay fees to a union because unions inevitably use those fees for political speech. But the Court didn’t say whether government unions could keep the fees they’d already wrongfully taken from workers.

Now the plaintiff in that case, former Illinois state employee Mark Janus, is asking the Supreme Court to answer that question—and to order the unions to give back their ill-gotten gains. The Goldwater Institute, together with the Cato Institute and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, has filed an amicus brief urging the Court to again take up Janus’s case.

As the Goldwater Institute’s brief explains, many other workers across the country are asking federal courts to order unions to pay back union fees they unconstitutionally collected before Janus. Unfortunately, lower courts are consistently ruling against these workers, even though the law is on their side. The Supreme Court should take Janus’s case so that unions that wrongfully profited from violations of workers’ First Amendment rights will be held accountable and workers will get the redress to which they’re entitled.

Case Documents

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