Tuesday, July 7, 2020
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Janus decision is a blow to public schools

In one of the last decisions handed down last term, the US Supreme Court dealt what many educators feel will be a severe blow to teachers’ unions and other public-sector unions, ruling 5-4 that unions could not force members to pay dues to support the political activity of the union.

The case was entitled Janus v American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 3.1

Laws in almost half the states were immediately nullified by the decision, and so-called “fair share” fees were removed. Such fees cover the expense of the cost of negotiating and enforcing employment contracts.

“This ruling is an extraordinary example of judicial activism on the part of a court whose majority claim to be aligned with conservative principles,” said Network for Public Education Executive Director, Carol Burris, in an email. “It is clear this was a politically motivated decision designed to reduce the power and voice of public sector unions—including all of the unions that represent teachers, nurses, custodians, instructional assistants and administrators in public schools.”

On the resignation of Anthony Kennedy

Just hours after the Court finished its term Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced in a letter to President Donald Trump that he would retire from the Court as of July 31, giving Mr Trump an opportunity to appoint his successor.

The Constitution gives the president the power to appoint Supreme Court justices and the Senate the duty to advise the president and consent (or not) to the appointments made.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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