Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part I) [December 4, 2017] [open pdf - 527KB]
"Agency shop arrangements (sometimes called 'fair share' provisions) require employees to pay a fee to the union designated to represent their bargaining unit even if the employees are not members of that union. The 'Abood' Court [Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 1977], held that these arrangements do not violate the First Amendment insofar as the union uses the fees for 'collective bargaining activities' and not 'ideological activities unrelated to collective bargaining.' In its October 2015 Term, the full Court heard oral argument on whether to overrule 'Abood', but ultimately divided four-to-four on this question following the death of Justice Scalia. Now that Justice Gorsuch has joined the bench, it remains to be seen whether a majority of the Court will reaffirm Abood or chart a new course. Part I of this two-part Sidebar provides general background on 'Abood' and the case law leading up to 'Janus' [Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31]. Part II then discusses the perspectives Justice Gorsuch may bring to 'Janus' and the potential implications of the decision for public sector collective bargaining and compulsory fees more broadly."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10042
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html