Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Next Target

As if they don't have enough on their plates what with ruining our economy and taking over private enterprise, the Democrats now barricaded in the federal government have something else to do -- they must save union coffers from those conservative types who believe that workers should be able to keep what they earn without it being forcibly siphoned off to support union political activities.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ysursa v Pocatello Ed. Assn. that an Idaho law prohibiting payroll deductions for political activities is constitutional and may be enforced. A group of unions had challenged the law as it applied to county, municipal, school district, and other local public employers. The Supreme Court rejected the challenge, reasoning:

The First Amendment prohibits government from “abridging the freedom of speech”; it does not confer an affirmative right to use government payroll mechanisms for the purpose of obtaining funds for expression. Idaho’s law does not restrict political speech, but rather declines to promote that speech by allowing public employee checkoffs for political activities. Such a decision is reasonable in light of the State’s interest in avoiding the appearance that carrying out the public’s business is tainted by partisan political activity. That interest extends to government at the local as well as state level, and nothing in the First Amendment prevents a State from determining that its political subdivisions may not provide payroll deductions for political activities.

Clear and correct. Thank you, Chief Justice Roberts. Surprisingly, even Justice Ginsburg concurred in the decision. Naturally, Justices Breyer, Souter, and Stephens dissented.

So now we will have the hue and cry of the union apologists who, notwithstanding the results of last November's election and the current composition of our federal government, will mourn the loss of union political influence and demand that Congress enact legislation to reverse this decision and "level the playing field."

So many targets, so little time.

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