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What Do Think About SCOTUS Derailing the Democrats' SEIU Gravy Train?

Steverno~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2012/06/25 15:57:03
SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
SEIU and other Public Sector Union's donations to Democrats are justified because....
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Some days, things just work out right. Last Thursday was one of those days for conservatives. It was a day of reckoning for the Service Employees International Union and the Democratic politicians they use our tax dollars to buy and pay for. And it was a day the United States Supreme Court stood strong for our First Amendment rights. Justice Alito's majority opinion in Knox v. SEIU met the uncompromising standard set by Citizens United and Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. It not only reasserted the constitutional protection of free speech against union power, but also held that the process by which protection against compelled speech is afforded must not itself become a burden.

A little background is in order. Under California's agency shop law, public employees are not required to join a union to keep their jobs; however, non-members are assessed a percentage of the union's regular dues as a condition of employment. The rationale is that since non-members enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining, they should bear their fair share of its costs. To protect non-members' First Amendment rights, they are required to pay for only the percentage of total dues that covers those costs, not for the union's "political or ideological projects"[i].

In 2005, the California SEIU's political power was seriously threatened by two ballot initiatives. Proposition 75 called for the union to obtain "affirmative consent" before imposing special assessments for political purposes. That was meant to prevent union abuses, since under such an "opt-in" rule, no money can be taken without the express consent of the employee. There would be no more "opt-out" chicanery such as "We'll take your money unless you tell us not to within thirty days," or a demand that the employee fill out some mind-boggling form to avoid being assessed. Proposition 76 posed a different threat: it gave the governor power to cut spending by reducing public employee compensation. To fund its $10-million political battle against these ballot propositions, the SEIU issued a special assessment demanding that all employees -- including non-members -- pony up the extra cash.

Unfortunately for the SEIU, not all non-members were obedient sheep. Some not only complained; some workers took the union to court. And they won. The District Court issued a summary judgment in their favor based on the stark reality that there was only one purpose for the union's extraordinary spending, and that purpose was political[ii]. That might seem like a no-brainer; but right on cue, the high priests of social justice over at the Ninth Circuit reversed on appeal. And then something really interesting happened: the employees petitioned the Supreme Court, the Court agreed to hear the case, and...the SEIU tried to dodge the constitutional bullet by refunding the assessment and claiming that since nobody was out a dime, the case was moot. Close, but no cigar. Alito wryly observed that "[s]uch postcertiorari maneuvers designed to insulate a decision from review by this Court must be viewed with a critical eye" because "a dismissal for mootness would permit a resumption of the challenged conduct as soon as the case is dismissed" [iii].

What happened instead was a well-deserved disaster for public employee unions and the Democratic Party they brag they own. Predictably, Alito's opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy, held that the SEIU had violated non-members' First Amendment rights by forcing them to fund its political operations against their will. That's bad for the SEIU, and it's bad for the Democrats, because it threatens the political alchemy lab where they turn tax dollars into public employee salaries, salaries into union dues, and union dues into lavish spending on Democratic campaigns. But it gets worse. Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg broke ranks with the progressives, supporting the majority decision in a concurrence by Sotomayor. Only Justices Breyer and Kagan toed the party line.

But there was far worse news still to come for the public employee unions and the Democratic Party. The SEIU's brazen abuse of the "opt-out" system raised a question quite similar to the one posed by their attempt to moot the case by returning non-members' money:

Once it is recognized, as our cases have done, that a non-member cannot be forced to fund a union's political or ideological activities, what is the justification for putting the burden on the non-member to opt out of making such a payment?[iv]

This is not simply a matter of inconveniencing non-members.

An opt-out system creates a risk that the fees paid by nonmembers will be used to further political and ideological ends with which they do not agree.[v]

The majority has now ventured where progressives refuse to tread. It is not enough to give lip service to First Amendment rights; the processes by which those rights are protected must be adequate to the task. There's really nothing new about this. The opinion Alito quotes to support his argument, Teachers v. Hudson, was decided a quarter of a century ago (475 U. S. 292 [1986]).

[A] "union should not be permitted to exact a service fee from nonmembers without first establishing a procedure which will avoid the risk that their funds will be used, even temporarily, to finance ideological activities unrelated to collective bargaining."[vi]

Make no mistake. Thursday was a very bad day for the public employee unions and the Democratic Party. How ironic that the SEIU's victory in its war against Proposition 75 has led to defeat not only in California, but in the entire United States. And how appropriate that the SEIU's bad faith has become the poster child for the "opt-in" system of non-member exemptions.

From: The American Thinker

Read More: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/scotus_dera...

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  • sglmom 2012/06/25 16:14:39
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    sglmom
    +16
    My, my, my ..

    I'm absolutely intrigued by this observation of Justice Alito ..
    "Alito wryly observed that "[s]uch postcertiorari maneuvers designed to insulate a decision from review by this Court must be viewed with a critical eye" because "a dismissal for mootness would permit a resumption of the challenged conduct as soon as the case is dismissed" [iii]."

    OF COURSE that is why the SEIU did that maneuver indeed (of refunding their additional assessment after the 9th sided (quite expectedly with the SEIU) .. after all .. that is what the 9th does best .. legislate from the bench), a tactic that BACKFIRED this time ..
    and clearly the Supremes saw through this tactic .. this bit of deflection to the true nature of the maneuver and slapped them on the wrist ..

    it is also intriguing that there's recognition in the district level as well as the highest levels that the Unions ARE Active indeed in the "Body Politic" .. pursuing an agenda .. and purchasing access ..

    More and more .. there's those .. who do NOT Want the unions .. want to drop out of this .. are IRRITATED at the involuntary extraction from their pay .. speaking out and talking about it .. publicizing the extractions and demanding their hard-earned income NOT be used for agendas .. (including politics) that are...











    My, my, my ..

    I'm absolutely intrigued by this observation of Justice Alito ..
    "Alito wryly observed that "[s]uch postcertiorari maneuvers designed to insulate a decision from review by this Court must be viewed with a critical eye" because "a dismissal for mootness would permit a resumption of the challenged conduct as soon as the case is dismissed" [iii]."

    OF COURSE that is why the SEIU did that maneuver indeed (of refunding their additional assessment after the 9th sided (quite expectedly with the SEIU) .. after all .. that is what the 9th does best .. legislate from the bench), a tactic that BACKFIRED this time ..
    and clearly the Supremes saw through this tactic .. this bit of deflection to the true nature of the maneuver and slapped them on the wrist ..

    it is also intriguing that there's recognition in the district level as well as the highest levels that the Unions ARE Active indeed in the "Body Politic" .. pursuing an agenda .. and purchasing access ..

    More and more .. there's those .. who do NOT Want the unions .. want to drop out of this .. are IRRITATED at the involuntary extraction from their pay .. speaking out and talking about it .. publicizing the extractions and demanding their hard-earned income NOT be used for agendas .. (including politics) that are AGAINST their own beliefs ..

    interestingly enough .. then we go on to see this ..
    "The opinion Alito quotes to support his argument, Teachers v. Hudson, was decided a quarter of a century ago (475 U. S. 292 [1986]).
    [A] "union should not be permitted to exact a service fee from nonmembers without first establishing a procedure which will avoid the risk that their funds will be used, even temporarily, to finance ideological activities unrelated to collective bargaining."[vi]"

    Folks .. Co-mingling of funds ..
    (and this is something that I have seen in even the mortgage industry .. where banks that are the mortgage holders co-mingle the escrow accounts for taxes, insurance with their interest-bearing activities .. but do NOT provide an interest payment to those paying the mortgage on their escrow account holdings .. ) should be prosecuted indeed ..
    (for the funds of the escrow .. like the basic minimal administrative dues for non-political activities of the union) must be clearly separate and maintained as such ..

    and .. there shouldn't be any DIFFICULTY in the union offices when any person says .. NOPE .. I do NOT and will NOT choose to fund your political action antics .. I OPT out .. period .. and guess what .. that means immediate ..
    (no road blocks here should ever occur).
    Unions need to HONOR the "OPT OUT" and NOT extract involuntarily dues from those who would never want to fund the union or its activities in the first place.
    (more)

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Opinions

  • ProudProgressive 2012/06/26 20:19:50
    Other Thoughts!
    ProudProgressive
    When the Supreme Court imposes a similar restriction on corporations that require them to get the approval of a majority of their shareholders before they make any political contributions, then we can talk. This is simply another shot in the Right Wing's battle to buy the American elections process and completely eviscerate the First Amendment. Ronald Reagan launched a class war against actual working Americans with the gall to try to negotiate for livable working conditions in 1981, and obviously that war continues to this day.
  • The Gipper~PWCM~JLA 2012/06/26 19:28:54
    SEIU and other Public Sector Union's donations to Democrats are justified bec...
    The Gipper~PWCM~JLA
    OUTSTANDING!
  • Roger 2012/06/26 16:41:02
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Roger
    Democrats in genral are just starting to become unconstitutional! I mean how many evil twisted and unconstitutional things can you do?
  • DuncanONeil 2012/06/26 10:59:45
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    DuncanONeil
    they are robbing the treasury.
  • Yankee Traveler 2012/06/26 09:10:37
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Yankee Traveler
  • wtw 2012/06/26 03:32:47
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    wtw
    They are bankrupting our country and are not even close to being equal in pay and benefits with the private sector--Obama talks about fairness so much but does nothing to make the SEIU close to being fair with the private sector
  • Farnsworth 2012/06/26 03:11:47
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Farnsworth
    about time....

    Been a rough one for the unions, ass kicking in WI and now this. Love it! May it continue
  • jgh57 2012/06/26 02:22:55
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    jgh57
    I don't think any special interest group should be able to donate to political causes.
  • Icono1 2012/06/26 00:21:39
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Icono1
    They have become a dangerous extension of partisan politics.
  • Rusty 2012/06/25 20:47:57
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Rusty
    Very good we don't need public sector unions.......these people work for the government their loving big brother.
  • Maddog 2012/06/25 20:40:30
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Maddog
    Excellent news!
  • Lanikai 2012/06/25 20:22:43
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Lanikai
    +1
    They are seizing control of too many private companies and amassing power to control entire county or state governments. That was obama's intention when he helped them organize and learn to use union power, but still it strips governments of money and individual businesses or their own rights. Like when they went into Michigan and Wisconsin and demanded all daycare and home health organize and join their union. They did not want to join but risked losing government contracts for NOT joining. So, power by force like the thugs they are SHOULD be reigned in.
  • none 2012/06/25 19:52:31
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    none
    Trade unions work for the members, public sector unions only work for themselves and they're bankrupting states with their outrageous demands.
  • Lady Whitewolf 2012/06/25 19:43:53
    SEIU and other Public Sector Union's donations to Democrats are justified bec...
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    When the Unions are gone....

    and you're working for 30 cents an hour
    and you're working 50-60 hours a week
    and you have NO weekends or vacations
    no OSHA safety regulations
    no employer-provided health care

    and what's worse...

    CHILD LABOR

    THEN come back and tell me how ya feel...
    does this say it
  • Seonag Lady Wh... 2012/06/25 19:54:57
    Seonag
    +1
    Public Unions had nothing to do with these Federal & State Laws. They've been the result of the private sector unions and even as those decline, the laws will not go away.
  • Lady Wh... Seonag 2012/06/25 20:47:34
    Lady Whitewolf
    "the laws will not go away..."

    don't be too sure about that.
  • Evan 2012/06/25 19:43:47
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Evan
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to be reined in because power is a corrupting influence. Look at BHO. They are getting too big for their britches, just like BHO. Bunch of little kids throwing their weight around, bullying others into doing their bidding because they're bigger.
  • Dwight PWCM 2012/06/25 18:53:24
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Dwight PWCM
    +2
    When the Unions can tell the rest of us were to get off, the ride is broken.
  • HOMBRE 2012/06/25 18:24:23
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    HOMBRE
    +3
    Union has no business in state and Federal. It just my opinion.
  • Charge 2012/06/25 18:16:49
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Charge
    +2
    It's a win for free choice of union members.
  • jackolantyrn356 2012/06/25 17:51:10 (edited)
    Other Thoughts!
    jackolantyrn356
    The decission was pretty NIFTY, but it did npt go far enough. After all the Court has at ;east 2 communists on it and that needs to be rectified soon. Now the S Court has the ObummerCare to deal with. It is my hope thy lose it altogether. Obama will ignore the decission anyway, To he=us destruction.
  • Chi~Cat 2012/06/25 17:46:58
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Chi~Cat
    +3
    Rein 'em all in before November 6.
  • Theresa 2012/06/25 17:46:04
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Theresa
    +4
    It is about time the taxpayer does not have to face both the politicians and the unions. There is finally a break in the chain.
  • littlebuffalo55TBA 2012/06/25 17:36:35
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    +4
    There are several cases now where WE the People have spoken by vote on this! Now the Supreme Court has seen the wrong of Unions who are really not for improving the craft or industry they serve but merely a grab for political power in the government!

    NO other entity spends more to affect elections in the state of California than the California Teachers Union! Look at the effect it has had on the state and in what way has it improved it's Education?
  • Michaelene 2012/06/25 17:33:19
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Michaelene
    +6
    Public sector unions should be illegal. Collective bargaining of over paid workers trying to get more and more out of the hand that feeds them.
    How can anyone be objective if they are working for and voting for their own bosses?
    I saw it first hand in Philly, threats against city workers who would not vote for Mayor John Street.
  • Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2012/06/25 17:31:47
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆
    +7
    The very notion of public-employee unions means that any given city or county or State is bargaining with itself. The losers are the taxpayers, who lost the last vote.

    This decision is the only way to protect the interests of taxpayers.
  • ScottyG - Faqueue 2012/06/25 17:25:44
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    ScottyG - Faqueue
    +5
    The 4 trillion in unfunded pensions is one huge reason to reign them in. And there are a whole host of reasons. But that is a good enough one for me.
  • Balladeer-PWCM-POTL 2012/06/25 16:52:13
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Balladeer-PWCM-POTL
    +6
    PLEASE let this be the beginning of the death of the Socialist Unions that seek power and forget the worker
  • ★Calliope★ 2012/06/25 16:51:41
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    ★Calliope★
    +6
    Unions hold the UNION hostage.

    Unsustainable. Witness all the states floundering with an out-of-control pension problem.
  • Old Timer 2012/06/25 16:49:30
    Other Thoughts!
    Old Timer
    +2
    Alito.GET'S it, eh?
  • Diane Spraggs Yates 2012/06/25 16:44:17
    SEIU and other Public Sector Unions needed to reined in because....
    Diane Spraggs Yates
    +7
    Unions are communist thugs using force to control members down with Unions Free the workers !!!!!
  • jimmy Diane S... 2012/06/25 16:51:54
    jimmy
    +3
    that they are
  • littleb... Diane S... 2012/06/25 17:31:43
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    +4
    They are to stupid to realize history! Once a strong Communist government gains power they outlaw unions. Usually by means carried out by a guy like this!

    beria
  • Lady Wh... littleb... 2012/06/25 19:44:54
    Lady Whitewolf
    +2
    AGREED!
  • tommyg ... littleb... 2012/06/25 20:09:48
    tommyg - POTL- PWCM-JLA
    +1
    I would argue there is a difference between public sector unions and private sector.
  • littleb... tommyg ... 2012/06/25 20:49:54
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    +1
    Great point as I would as well!
  • ProudPr... tommyg ... 2012/06/26 20:23:45
    ProudProgressive
    What's the difference? In either case the members of the union jointly seek to improve their working conditions through negotiations with their employer.
  • tommyg ... ProudPr... 2012/06/26 20:41:05
    tommyg - POTL- PWCM-JLA
    One is paid by the tax payer, the other is not.
  • ProudPr... tommyg ... 2012/06/26 20:47:20
    ProudProgressive
    Why does that matter? Is a police officer less entitled to workplace fairness than a steelworker?
  • tommyg ... ProudPr... 2012/06/26 20:50:48
    tommyg - POTL- PWCM-JLA
    No, but he's not entitled to more either.

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