ON-Lion Letter
In a resounding legal victory for employee rights in America, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in mid-June that state "paycheck-protection" laws can require unions to get the permission of their dues payers to spend those dues for political purposes.

In his opinion for the Court in Davenport v. Washington Education Association (WEA), reversing a judgment of the Washington state supreme court, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "[I]t does not violate the First Amendment for a State to require that its public-sector unions receive affirmative authorization from a nonmember before spending that nonmember's agency fees for election-related purposes."

Past U.S. Supreme Court decisions have recognized that when non-union members are compelled to pay dues, their dues money cannot be used to fund the union’s political speech and activities.  They have required unions to permit nonmembers to “opt out” of having their fees used for any purpose not germane to the union’s collective-bargaining responsibilities.  The Washington statute upheld in the landmark Davenport case requires that nonmembers affirmatively “opt in” to having any of their dues fees used in these ways.

The appeal to the Supreme Court was brought by Washington State and a group of teachers represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in Springfield, Va., which The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports.  The matter dates back to an initial complaint against the WEA that was filed by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Olympia, Wash., which Bradley also supports.
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