Rutledge joins anti-union case from California | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 14, 2015

Rutledge joins anti-union case from California

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 3:10 PM

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a brief in support of efforts challenging a California law that requires collection of fees to public sector unions from public employees they represent even if the employees haven't joined the union. 

Of course she has. The attorney general is pursuing a broad national agenda that is less about Arkansas issues than it is about the National Republican Party platform — be it anti-union, anti-environmental protection, anti-medical autonomy for women, anti-equal rights for gay people and so forth. Is she FOR anything? You betcha. Guns and lots of them.

Her release:




Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she joined an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Rutledge and 17 State attorneys general urge the Court to overrule Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and hold that requiring fees to public-sector unions, including for activities related to the union’s role as exclusive bargaining representative, violates the First Amendment.

Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher in Orange County, California, along with several other colleagues and the Christian Educators Association, filed a lawsuit against the California Teachers Association (CTA) challenging the association’s fee requirement of all California teachers. California teachers cannot be forced to join the CTA, but teachers are still required to pay a fee to cover the cost of “collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment purposes,” a requirement allowed by the Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

“No individual should be forced to help fund a cause he or she does not support,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Regrettably, as the law stands, public employees are being forced to pay union fees, thus having their First Amendment rights violated. Arkansas is a right-to-work State, but the Court needs to acknowledge that public employees in this country should not be required to associate themselves with a union or the causes for which the union advocates.”

The State attorneys general believe the Court was incorrect to distinguish between union political activity and union collective bargaining, arguing that “it is time to abandon the meaningless distinction between collective bargaining and other political activity.” In the public sphere, the subjects of collective bargaining – pensions, wages, and the size of the government workforce – have the same public policy implications as other political activity.

The attorneys general also point out that collective bargaining was a major factor in multiple municipal bankruptcies including Detroit, Michigan; Stockton, California; and San Bernardino, California

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