Posts tagged Service Employees International Union
The Big Decision isn’t until tomorrow, but the Supreme Court has had a busy and productive session, with a plethora of cases that will have significant impact in the coming years.
One of the cases I previewed, Knox v. Service Employees International Union, will affect the ability of unions to involve themselves in the democratic process in America. If corporations are people, because people own corporations and get dividends from them, then surely unions are people, since the point of unions is to represent the interests of their members. That being the case, if corporations can provide unlimited funding for campaign contributions, under the assumption that they represent the interests of their shareholders, it seems reasonable for unions to do so as well. Or does it? (more…)
Does a public employee union have the right to use union dues to advance political causes, without getting approval from non-union members who have to pay dues to the union? Today’s case before the Supreme Court, Knox v. Service Employees International Union, seeks to address that question.
That’s not a simple issue. In the much-debated Citizens United ruling, the Roberts court held that corporations and unions may spend unlimited (and almost completely unregulated) amounts of money on political advertizing and advocacy. Corporations are particularly unrestricted, since the decision-makers are unanswerable to anyone, unless the stockholders specifically rein them in. Unions, on the other hand, have a variety of restrictions on their actions, particularly since the point of any union is to be answerable to union members.
But what about employees who don’t belong to a union, but are required by law to pay union dues anyway? Should they be allowed to help determine how much money a union may spend on political activities? That question is at the heart of Knox v. SEIU. (more…)