SCOTUS Rules Against Public Union Dues

The Supreme Court ruled Monday in Harris v. Quinn that non-members of public unions cannot be forced to pay dues. An Illinois in-home health care worker sued the state over compulsory union dues. The state considers her a public employee because her salaries is paid with Medicaid funds, which made her a member of the Service Employees International Union. Pamela Harris sued Illinios and SEIU, saying the dues are tantamount to forced association and forced speech (prohibited by the First Amendment). In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that "partial public employees" like Harris cannot be required to contribute. The ruling does not extend to all public employees or all unions. As SCOTUSBlog's Tom Goldstein writes, "The unions have lost a tool to expand their reach. But they have dodged a major challenge to their very existence."