The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a challenge to the way public-sector unions finance their operations. Union officials said a ruling against them would deal a blow to organized labor.
The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915, was brought by California teachers who said being compelled to pay union fees to subsidize activities they disagree with violates their First Amendment rights.
Limiting the power of public unions has long been a goal of conservative groups, and they welcomed Tuesday’s development.
“The question of whether teachers and other government employees can be required to subsidize the speech of a union they do not support as a condition of working for their own government is now squarely before the court,” Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, said in a statement.
The challengers say that some collective bargaining with a government employer amounts to lobbying and that forcing them to pay for those activities violates their First Amendment rights.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case in its next term, which begins in October.