The Supreme Court’s ‘Janus’ decision merits an encore

In Judiciary and Courts On

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If the court grants certiorari in Fleck’s case, it will decide whether, as a condition of employment, attorneys can be compelled to join a politically active trade association, and whether that association can presume members’ acquiescence in the association’s spending on political activities that are not germane to the association’s core function, which is to be neutral guardians of the legal profession’s proprieties.

Janus forbids public-sector unions, which like state bar associations elsewhere are associations given power by government action, from either presuming consent or placing on those who do not consent the burden of proactively demanding refunds of their money spent by the associations on political advocacy. Furthermore, the court acknowledged 30 years ago that mandatory bar associations are analogous to unions regarding First Amendment (speech and association) concerns.

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