Supreme Court Weighs in on Political Payroll Deductions

The United States Supreme Court has stepped into a dispute between the state of Idaho and labor unions over payroll deductions for political activities, reports the Associated Press.

The state asked the justices to take the case, which involves an Idaho law that prohibits cities, counties and school districts from making payroll deductions for donations to political candidates or parties.

Five labor unions and the Idaho state AFL-CIO successfully challenged part of the law in the lower federal courts.

A federal judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded that local units of government and school districts could choose to stop making the payroll deductions, but that the state could not force them to do so.

“Payroll deduction should not be a constitutionally protected right,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which filed court papers in the case. “We feel it’s bad public policy to have government bodies essentially be bagmen for union political monies.”