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Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
8:09pm
Tue Mar 29, 2016

Op-Ed: Friedrichs Decision Is A Win For Workers, Albeit A Temporary One

The following is from Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute.

The Supreme Court's 4-4 split decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which was issued today, upholds a lower court decision that permits public employee unions to assess fees on non-members who benefit from collective bargaining and union representation. The decision is a victory for working people, whose rights are protected by strong unions even if they themselves are not in a union.

It is also a reminder about the importance of the president's choice of the next Supreme Court justice, since the 4-4 split guarantees that another case attacking union security agreements will find its way to the Court before long.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:03am
Thu Mar 17, 2016

U.S. House Looks At Filing Supreme Court Brief Against Obama's Immigration Orders (UPDATED)

A controversial resolution involving the legal challenge against President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration is slated to go up for a vote in the Republican-led U.S. House Thursday afternoon.

Under the resolution, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) would have the power to file a Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of his chamber opposing Obama's immigration orders. Ryan, who filed the resolution Monday, says the issue boils down to defending Article I of the Constitution, which defines the legislative branch's powers. 

But House Democrats say the Republican effort is just a "political stunt."

"The vote today is a political stunt disguised as a legal brief, because the Republican majority sees a crass political opportunity to stand with the anti-immigration wing of their party," U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) said on a morning conference call. "They keep saying, 'Well [GOP presidential frontrunner Donald] Trump doesn't represent us. He doesn't rep our views. He doesn't represent our values,' and now they want to know where Trump gets all his anti-immigrant, xenophobic ideas from. Try the House of Representatives."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:13pm
Fri Feb 19, 2016

Schneider, Rotering Court Small Business Community, Discuss National Topics In Waukegan

Democrats vying for the 10th congressional district seat participated in a candidate meet-and-greet Friday with members of the small business community. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the event, hosted by the Small Business Advocacy Council in Waukegan.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:51pm
Wed Jan 6, 2016

SCOTUS To Hear Oral Arguments Monday In Major Labor Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in a high-profile labor case that could significantly affect public employee unions nationwide.

At issue is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case brought by 10 nonunion public school teachers in California who object to paying "agency" or "fair share" fees to their local union.

The plaintiffs -- represented by the the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), a conservative public interest law firm -- argue that the mandatory fees, which support costs associated with collective bargaining, violate their First Amendment rights.

"Requiring teachers to pay these 'agency fees' assumes that collective bargaining is non-political," reads a posting on CIR's website. "But bargaining with local governments is inherently political. Whether the union is negotiating for specific class sizes or pressing a local government to spend tax dollars on teacher pensions rather than on building parks, the union's negotiating positions embody political choices that are often controversial."

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