Some days, things just work out right. Last Thursday was one of those days for conservatives. It was a day of reckoning for the Service Employees International Union and the Democratic politicians they use our tax dollars to buy and pay for. And it was a day the United States Supreme Court stood strong for our First Amendment rights. Justice Alito's majority opinion in Knox v. SEIU met the uncompromising standard set by Citizens United and Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. It not only reasserted the constitutional protection of free speech against union power, but also held that the process by which protection against compelled speech is afforded must not itself become a burden.
A little background is in order. Under California's agency shop law, public employees are not required to join a union to keep their jobs; however, non-members are assessed a percentage of the union's regular dues as a condition of employment. The rationale is that since non-members enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining, they should bear their fair share of its costs. To protect non-members' First Amendment rights, they are required to pay for only the percentage of total dues that covers those costs, not for the union's "political or ideological projects".