The last week of June was an extremely eventful time for our nation’s highest court that will have major implications for everybody in our country for years to come. In one of the most watched cases of the year, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to public sector unions by overturning decades of precedent and declaring “agency shop” arrangements unconstitutional in the case of Janus v. AFSCME.
In a 5-4, partisan decision, the court held that unions that negotiate benefits for all employees could not require those employees to pay dues for the negotiation services and other benefits they receive, and is the latest in a long line of attacks by anti-union corporations and individuals to weaken unions and make it harder for them to stand up for worker’s rights.
In addition, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his decision to retire and step down from the Supreme Court. Justice Kennedy was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and was long considered a moderate swing vote on the bench. His retirement hands President Trump a second nomination to the Supreme Court after the Republicans unprecedented dereliction of their duty to govern and consider President Obama’s nomination in 2016. It is absolutely vital that we as citizens remain vigilant and fight against the further erosion of our societal norms and degradation of our government.