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Scalia Sorely Missed in Union Case

Scalia Sorely Missed in Union Case
Scalia memorial. (AP)

By Tuesday, 12 April 2016 09:06 AM Current | Bio | Archive

A Fox News report on the first Supreme Court case decided after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia reflects just how important he was to constitutional jurisprudence while on the court and how crucial it is that his replacement be his ideological equal.

Rebecca Friedrich is a government school teacher in Orange County, Calif. A few years ago she resigned from the California Teachers Association because she was disenchanted with the representation she was receiving.

When you or I resign from a group that charges us dues, it makes sense that the dues stop after you resign. The only time this doesn’t apply is when you resign from a gym. Their collectors pursue you to the grave.

Since the CTA isn’t a health club, Friedrich thought they were quits. But she was wrong. The CTA continued to charge her $650 a year for “bargaining costs.” Since teacher contracts aren’t renegotiated every year, why was Rebecca being charged every year?

CTA says paying the fee is mandatory because the union “has a legal duty to represent all teachers at the bargaining table” even if the table is empty two out of every three years.

The amount charged was also fishy. There are 325,000 members in the CTA. If you multiply total membership by $650 you arrive at a yearly total for negotiating costs of $211,250,000.00. By law California teacher contracts last for three years, so according to CTA figures the cost to negotiate each contract is $633,750,000.00 — a completely absurd number.

Friedrich’s share of that colossal amount was $1,950.00 and she wanted her money back, so she sued. An earlier union versus nonmember case in 1977 had been decided in the union’s favor. The court ruled “public workers who choose not to join a union can be required to pay for bargaining costs if the fees don't go toward political purposes.” But it was obvious to Rebecca that CTA was using her money for something besides bargaining and she suspected it was to elect more big–spending Democrats.

This time the court case was very different. During formal arguments Justice Scalia was very skeptical of the 1977 precedent and court observers predicted the union would lose. Then the unexpected happened and Scalia died.

The final ruling on the case was a 4–4 tie, which meant the 9th Circuit decision that upheld the union side was sustained. As a result in California and eight other states public employees will remain subject to coerced speech where they are forced to pay for union activities they don’t support.

Scalia’s death was a double loss — first for the nation, and in Friedrich’s case, justice.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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A Fox News report on the first Supreme Court case decided after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia reflects just how important he was to fairness while on the court.
scalia, supreme court, union dues
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 09:06 AM
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