Mark Janus, a child support specialist for the state of Illinois, was forced to pay union dues—even though he did not belong to the union and did not want to be a member. The dues withheld from his paycheck—known as “agency fees”—were used to advocate for political issues Mark did not support, and to him, this was compelled speech. This week, the nation’s highest court agreed, ruling that it is unconstitutional to force public-sector employees to be forced to pay union fees.
In a new article, Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur explains that the long-anticipated decision is an important one for the First Amendment:
“When free speech rights are at stake, the thumb needs to be on the scale of freedom, not government restrictions. Although the Janus case will likely be labeled as an attack on unions, the decision is actually a reminder that freedom of speech belongs to individuals, not to groups, and that each person should have the right to decide for himself or herself whether to support political activism—instead of being forced to do so.”
Liberty in the News
Fighting for Constitutional Rights from Coast to Coast
The Goldwater Institute took the fight for one essential property right coast to coast this week with the filing of three new lawsuits defending the right of homeowners to offer their private homes to paying overnight guests, a practice better known as home-sharing. Find out about the cases and why this fight is so important.
How Arizona Can Prevent Illegal Teacher Strikes
Earlier this year, illegal teacher strikes throughout Arizona brought the education of hundreds of thousands of children to a halt. While those school closures are now in the rearview mirror, the threat of a repeat still looms large in the Grand Canyon State. In a new policy memo, the Goldwater Institute lays out the legal concerns surrounding these strikes and how the Arizona Board of Education can act to prevent future school closures. Click here to learn more.
The Foundation of All other Rights
Property rights are the foundation of all other rights, what all other rights are built upon, the Cornerstone of Liberty. America’s Founders understood this and referred to private property in the Constitution more than any other right. In a new podcast, the Goldwater Institute’s Christina Sandefur talks about the importance of this foundational right. Listen to the podcast here.