If Neil Gorsuch Joins Supreme Court, That Could Spell Trouble For Public-Sector Unions
In Illinois, public-sector workers don’t have to join the unions and pay dues, but they do pay somewhat-lower “fees” that are supposed to cover the union’s cost in negotiating and enforcing contracts.
That’s due to a 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent. A couple of years ago, the Supreme Court accepted a case challenging that precedent, but Antonin Scalia died before he got to vote on it. The court split four-four without touching the precedent.
But a case in Illinois-- initiated by governor Bruce Rauner-- seeks to challenge the same precedent.
“If I were a public-sector union right now, I would be very concerned that a Justice Gorsuch would be the fifth vote to over-rule,” says University of Chicago law professor Daniel Hemel.
Hemel says the case’s timing makes it a realistic candidate for the court to hear soon.
“This case could be argued first Monday in October, 2017,” he says.