Scholars at the Pacific Research Institute, the California-based, free-market think-tank, responded to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case on worker freedom.
Kerry Jackson, Fellow with PRI’s Center for California Reform
“Today’s landmark ruling restores a freedom that should have never been allowed to be taken from workers — the freedom to not be forced to fund political activity they don’t agree with. Public employee unions can no longer require workers to support interests they feel conflict with their own. While unions and their allies are already rushing to change state law to blunt today’s victory for worker freedom, the Janus decision may finally break the logjam holding up the passage of badly-needed fiscal reforms.”
Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow in Education, Senior Director of PRI’s Center for Education
“Today’s ruling prioritized the First Amendment rights of individuals over the special interests of government and public employee unions. The Court ruled that forcing public employees to join a union violates their First Amendment free-speech rights. Justice Gorsuch and his colleagues recognized what we already knew – the issues negotiated by public employee unions in bargaining sessions are inherently political and force some members to subsidize the political activities of a group they do not support.”
PRI has written extensively on the Janus case in recent months, and the Friedrichs case prior to that. Jackson wrote a column for PRI’s Right by the Bay blog challenging the assertion that public employees would lose income under Janus. He also wrote a Capital Ideas op-ed in November arguing that a Janus victory would be a win for workers and a boost for the economy. Izumi wrote a Daily Caller op-ed in March reading the tea leaves in the case from newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.