IN his vitriolic dissent last June from the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, Justice Antonin Scalia accused the majority of having carried out a “judicial putsch.” Justice Scalia should know. He and his four conservative colleagues were then in the process of executing one themselves.I always enjoy the "free rider" argument. In effect, what its supporters are saying is that I can be thrown into a taxi, taken a bunch of places I don't want to go, and then should be compelled to pay the taxi driver because he or she took me to those places. What a silly line of reasoning.
On June 30, four days after handing down the marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, the court announced that it would hear a major challenge to the future of public-employee labor unions. That case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, was argued last week. As was widely reported, the outcome appears foreordained: the court will vote 5 to 4 to overturn a precedent that for 39 years has permitted public-employee unions to charge nonmembers a “fair-share” fee representing the portion of union dues that go to representing all employees in collective bargaining and grievance proceedings. As the exclusive bargaining agent, a union has a legal duty to represent everyone in the unit, whether members or not; the fee addresses the problem of “free riders” and the resentment engendered by those who accept the union’s help while letting their fellow workers foot the bill.
I just couldn't let that argument stand without challenge. Now I can move on.
For the past several years it is more common for the Supreme Court to rule unanimously in a case than it is for it to rule 5-4. So yes, there are some "ideological disagreements" that must be decided, but is the so-called conservative wing of the court any more ideological or diabolical than the so-called liberal wing? Sometimes, previous courts just got things wrong and their rulings must be overturned. Even Sandra Day O'Connor said in Grutter v. Bollinger that perhaps after 25 years, affirmative action will no longer be needed, implying the Court would no doubt have to rule it unconstitutional and overturn the very case about which she was writing.
If you want to read an entirely biased, one-sided argument--a "vitriolic dissent", as it were, from what the author thinks the Supreme Court will rule--then go read the entire linked article. If you would like to read both sides of the issue then read the transcript of the case, as it was argued before the Court 13 days ago, in PDF form downloadable from the Supreme Court's official site.
As an aside, everything I've read indicates that most people believe the Court will rule in Friedrichs' favor. I thought the Court would rule for Kelo in Kelo v. New London and I thought it would rule against the legality of Obamacare. I'll not count my chickens before they hatch, but I do hope Ms. Greenhouse (author of the piece linked above) is correct in her prognostication.