Supreme Court Hands Down Janus Opinion

June 27, 2018

Forty-one years of Abood precedent overturned

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Janus.  Justice Alito states “We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.”  Alito continues, “ Abood was poorly reasoned. It has led to practical problems and abuse. It is inconsistent with other First Amendment cases and has been undermined by more recent decisions. Developments since Abood was handed down have shed new light on the issue of agency fees, and no reliance interests on the part of public-sector unions are sufficient to justify the perpetuation of the free speech violations that Abood has countenanced for the past 41 years. Abood is therefore overruled.”

The Court Decision was 5-4 with Kagan, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor all dissenting.

You can view a transcript of the decision on the OHPELRA website, Decision.pdf.

The National PELRA will have a special webinar on Wednesday, July 25 @ 11:00am PST presented by Robert Smith and Jill Leka of Clark Baird Smith to explain the ramifications of this decision on the public sector.