NRTW Case Basis for Illinois Gov Rauner’s Executive Order

$ 2 Billion in Political OutlaysIt’s all political when it comes to Government Union Dues….

From The News-Gazette:

Taking on union power

What’s wrong with asking the courts to clarify the law?

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said he’d shake things up.

Rauner’s executive order relieves state employees of mandated “fair share” payments to unions they do not wish to join.

Rauner followed his order by filing a federal lawsuit in Chicago that asks a judge to rule on the propriety of his action.

It looks like a good-faith effort to seek a clarification of the law following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that raised questions about the legality of permitting unions to force payments from non-members. Political observers have suggested the legal issue may ultimately be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“…an employee who is forced to pay unfair share dues is being forced to fund political activity with which they disagree. That is a clear violation of First Amendment rights and something that, as governor, I am duty-bound to correct,” he said.

A 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision out of Detroit concluded fair share dues were legal as long as the coerced payments were not used to support a union’s political activities. But in a 2014 [NRTW] case involving Illinois home health caregivers, the high court raised questions about the propriety of the 1977 ruling.

In that case, Harris vs. Quinn, the court ruled 5-4 that the Service Employees International Union could not force payments from [Pamela] Harris, who cared for her home-bound son, received state payments to do so and did not wish to be forced to pay union dues. The high court rejected claims that receiving state support made her a state employee.

Harris had been forced to make union payments as a result of a 2003 executive order issued by the now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. His order gave the SEIU access to an additional $20 million in dues revenue from new categories of state employees, including the home health caregivers. In return, the SEIU lavished campaign donations on Quinn.

pam-harris-joshThe political arrangement between public employee unions and their political patrons is the subtext of this dispute. Rauner has complained that public employee unions exercise undue influence on public officials — both Republicans and Democrats — because they help elect many of them to office by providing campaign donations and campaign volunteers.

Once elected, Rauner asserts, these elected officials reward their union supporters with contracts that dearly cost taxpayers. … [read more at The News-Gazette]