The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor. The justices are scrapping a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join. Labor leaders fear that not only will workers who don't belong to a union stop paying fees, but that some union members might decide to stop paying dues if they could in essence get the union's representation for free. The 5-4 decision fulfills a longtime wish of conservatives to get rid of the so-called fair share fees that non-members pay to unions in roughly two dozen states.
The court ruled that the laws violate the First Amendment by compelling workers to support unions they may disagree with, reports the AP. President Trump weighed in minutes after the decision was handed down, while Justice Samuel Alito still was reading a summary of his majority opinion from the bench. "Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!" Trump said in a tweet. In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote "there is no sugarcoating today's opinion. ... It prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy." The AP has much more here.