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Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 and the Impact on Unions
Professor Thomas Keck, the Michael O. Sawyer Chair of Constitutional Law and Politics at the Maxwell School, offers insight on the Janus vs American Federation, State, Country and Municipal Employees case heard by the Supreme Court of the United States.
“Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 is likely to be the vehicle allowing Justice Samuel Alito to complete his longstanding effort to constitutionalize a key component of the Republican Party’s anti-union agenda,” says Keck.
“In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pushed through a series of legislative changes making it markedly more difficult for public sector unions to collect dues and fees from the workers they represent. In a series of recent cases, Justice Alito has been trying to impose those same rules nationwide—even in states like New York that would prefer to allow more leeway for unions to collect such fees,” says Keck.
“The Court is closely divided on this question, and it likely would have sided with the unions if President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland had been confirmed. But with Trump’s appointee Neil Gorsuch now on the Court, Alito likely has five votes for a ruling that will drain millions of dollars in annual funding from the labor movement nationally,” says Keck.
Professor Keck teaches the classes Supreme Court in American politics and constitutional law and is the author of Judicial Politics in Polarized Times and The Most Activist Supreme Court in History. For all media inquiries please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of news and PR for Syracuse University, at email@example.com or 315.443.1897.