Union Dues on the Docket
The teachers involved see the status quo (opt-out only) as an infringment on their right to free speech given the expressive implications of political contributions. The union argues that an opt-in provision is overly cumbersome and threatens the freedom of association implied by the First Amendment. Oral arguments are scheduled for tomorrow, with a decision likely by June.
This former teacher hopes the Court sides with his classroom cohorts. As an educator I was continually frustrated with the one-sided, blatantly ideological, and non-sensical tactics of my union, particularly the national and state entities. I was also forced to join regional and local cohorts. Each entity funneled a portion of my dues (nominal yes, but meaningful nonetheless on a teacher's salary and a violation of principle) to political action committees (PAC's), nothing more than organs of the Democratic Party.
In order to avoid contributing to causes contradicting my political values I was forced to write each organization separately to seek a refund for my PAC contributions. This is incredibly cumbersome, and a great number of my peers had no idea this was even an option. Opt-out provisions fail to protect free speech, and the Court should uphold the Washington law and introduce an opt-in era of free speech.