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The U.S. Supreme Court ‘Rejects Bid To Weaken’ Public Sector Labor Unions

Published Wednesday, June 9, 2021
by Greg Stohr/Bloomberg
The U.S. Supreme Court ‘Rejects Bid To Weaken’ Public Sector Labor Unions

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away a bid to weaken the power of Public Sector Unions, refusing to reconsider a 1984 ruling that lets them serve as the exclusive Bargaining Agent for Workers.

The Justices - without comment, rejected an appeal by Jade Thompson, an Ohio High School Teacher who said she has a First Amendment right not to be represented by a Union.

The appeal was one of the first to test the Court’s appetite for Labor issues since Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation in October created a 6-3 Conservative majority.

In rebuffing Thompson, the Court’s Conservative Wing passed on a chance to extend a 2018 ruling that said Government Employees can opt out of paying fees to a Union to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

A Federal Appeals Court ruled against Thompson, even while saying the exclusive-representation requirement couldn’t be squared with the reasoning of the 2018 decision.

In writing the 2018 ruling, Justice Samuel Alito said designation of a Union as an exclusive Bargaining Agent “substantially restricts the non-members’ rights” - but the 5-4 opinion didn’t mention the 1984 precedent, known as Minnesota State Board v. Knight, or directly say it might be in jeopardy.

The case is Thompson v. Marietta Education Association20-1019.

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