Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and teachers in a related class action lawsuit have appealed the Washington Supreme Court ruling in Public Disclosure Commission v. Washington Education Association to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The appeals call on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Washington Supreme Court’s restrictive ruling on the rights of employees represented by a union. On March 16, the Court ruled that the Washington Education Association (WEA) can use nonmember teachers’ dues for political activity without getting permission from the individual teachers.
Employees who are not members of a union can be required to pay dues as a condition of employment. In such a situation, U.S. Supreme Court case law lays out First Amendment protections to ensure employees are not forced to support political activity against their will. Washington’s law (RCW 42.17.760) established the additional requirement that nonmembers must “affirmatively authorize” any use of their dues for union political activity.
Wow. It seems like the Washington State Supreme Court has completely ignored US Supreme Court precedent in this situation. I hope they get their heads slapped back good by the Supremes.
As EIA (see blogroll at left) points out, that case ties into this little tidbit:
In what may be the first of many spending reports, the California Teachers Association and the state prison guard reported Monday they have bought $400,000 in campaign literature and mail as part of their independent campaign against the reelection of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I'll keep you posted as I get information.