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Bryan Fischer: Supreme Court Upholds Idaho’s Voluntary Contributions Act

February 24th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Values Alliance

One of the ways unions empower themselves is by using payroll deductions from union members for political purposes.

The teachers’ unions, for example, use teacher union dues to relentlessly promote the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agenda even though these agendas have nothing to do with education, and even though many union members oppose these agendas and resent the co-option of their hard earned income for such purposes.

In 2003, Idaho lawmakers enacted the Voluntary Contributions Act, which prohibits public-sector payroll deductions for union political activities. This in turn protects the freedom of public employees to make voluntary decisions about whether and where some portion of their income may be used for political purposes, and disentangles the government from involvement in partisan political activity of any kind.

Idaho unions, chief among them the teachers’ union, sued, upset that their customary control of member union dues was being usurped by liberty and freedom of choice. But today the Supreme Court told them they have no legal argument and upheld the constitutionality of Idaho’s law.

The Court correctly observed that, contrary to the unions’ complaints, Idaho’s law does not in any way deprive them of their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. But neither does the First Amendment, the Court observed, “impose an obligation on government to subsidize speech.”

The unions are “free to engage in such speech as they see fit. They simply are barred from enlisting the State in support of that endeavor.”

The ban is perfectly fair, and applies to all employees, whether their political sympathies are liberal or conservative. No point of view is either favored or disfavored by the law.

But unions, accustomed to using the payroll deduction process to pad their coffers for political purposes, complained. But the law simply levels the playing field, and today’s ruling should be celebrated by all who love freedom of choice. Today was a good day for Idaho at the U.S. Supreme Court.

And a good day to thank God for Supreme Court jurists such as John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Sam Alito who are strict constructionists and are guided in their deliberations by original intent rather than trendy political agendas.

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