The June 30 editorial about the Janus vs. AFSCME case, “Individual rights matter; Court got ruling right” got it half right.
Individual rights do matter, but the 5-4 Supreme Court majority got it wrong. This case was really about weakening the unions.
Let’s follow the money and the motives.
Mr. Janus didn’t go looking for a lawyer to fight for his rights. The rich folks at the Illinois Policy Institute and the Liberty Justice Center found him after Gov. Bruce Rauner’s standing as the plaintiff was rejected. They bankrolled Mr. Janus’ case, and Mr. Janus wanted his union benefits for free.
Mr. Janus – that is to say, the Illinois Policy Institute – argued he was “forced” to support the union’s political agenda. Let’s be clear. He was a “fair-share” employee, paying only his fair share of the costs of negotiating the contract, grievance procedures, etc. Supporters of the union’s political agenda make voluntary contributions to the PEOPLE fund. He was not contributing; he’s not forced to.
The usual five on the Supreme Court hung their hats on the right’s argument. The effect is that Mr. Janus keeps the benefits of working at a union-represented workplace and gets those benefits for free.
I’m looking into whatever benefits I can get for free now that it’s my “right.”
I’m not a fan of the political power Commonwealth Edison holds over Illinois politicians, so I’m on the phone with them right now and I’ve let them know the Supreme Court says I have a right to free electricity. They’ve got me on hold. Or maybe they’ve hung up on me.