Reptilian Languor




Don’t let the somnambulistic, semaphored signaling of teacher unions distract from the amoral deadliness of their strike.







County Register | October 25, 2006

Union dues and don'ts

Money forcibly taken from a person to support a candidate or initiative that the person opposes is a form of tyranny. … We urge the court to uphold [Initiative] 134. Coercion should play no role in raising money for political campaigns.


The Olympian | October 09, 2006

Time to get over union-fee spat

The core of the issue is whether teachers must say "yes" before the fees are used to further the union's agenda or if the union can spend the fees unless the teachers say "no." It's a technical question, but one that has important ramifications. … It will be good to put this festering issue behind us and - finally - get clarity on the use of union fees.


Chattanooga Times Free Press | October 9, 2006

Free choice, not compulsion
Workers who choose to join a union ought not to be harassed, but those who do not wish to join should not have to support the union's political activism. That simple concept has been ignored in Washington state. …workers should not have to take burdensome steps to keep their union dues from being used in ways they find objectionable.


The Washington Times | October 10, 2006

A "Sin" of Big Labor

How strange: The WEA extracts from agency fees from nonmembers in excess of collective-bargaining costs; the WEA then spends the difference on political activities that many nonmembers oppose; and the Washington Supreme Court asserts that it is the free-speech rights of the union that are violated by the prior-consent requirement.


James J. Kilpatrick | October 4, 2006


[T]he cases involve a principle as fundamental as the Eighth Commandment. The Eighth is the one that says we shall not steal. Both cases involve efforts by the schoolteachers' union in the state of Washington to extract "contributions" from non-union teachers. … The teachers' union, once having latched onto the loot, is understandably unwilling to let go. The plaintiffs are talking biblical principle. The union is talking cash.


The Detroit News | October 3, 2006

Don't force workers to support politicians

The Washington high court said the state law places too much of an administrative burden on unions. That's absurd. … First Amendment rights belong to individuals no less than labor unions, and it ought to be well within the rights of the people of a state to legislate how unions spend money they collect from non-members. It is inconceivable that the First Amendment's drafters and supporters expected that individuals should have the burden of preventing their money from being spent for politics if they are opposed to such expenditures.


Wall Street Journal | October 2, 2006

Dues on the Docket

The High Court now has an opportunity to set some national guidelines regarding the constitutionality of both paycheck protection laws for nonunion workers and the more general practice of unions extracting money from any worker involuntarily. Let's hope they don't take a pass.


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | October 2, 2006

Union tyrants

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case and frankly it's as easy as apple pie. No union has any right to speak for a nonmember on matters political unless it has his affirmative permission. Otherwise, it's an infringement on the individual's rights -- an individual who has already chosen, probably with trepidation, not to join the union. We shall see how well the U.S. Supreme Court deals with the tyrants who run labor organizations.


Walla-Walla Union Bulletin | October 2, 2006

Supreme Court should back rights of individuals 

Over the past 30 years, several U.S. Supreme Court rulings have made it clear that union members cannot be forced to pay for the union's political activism. The high court, if it follows the principle, should reverse the state court's ruling, which essentially provided a loophole for unions to scuttle the rights of individuals and collect more cash for political activities. It must be made crystal clear that the rights of individuals are sacrosanct. A strong Supreme Court opinion must be rendered that does just that.


Spartanburg Herald Journal (SC) | October 1, 2006

Supreme Court should uphold workers' right to control whether their pay is used for politics

The First Amendment is not on the side of the unions. Their free speech rights are not in danger. The only rights in danger are the workers'. The First Amendment gives them free speech, too. And that includes not being forced to pay for any political message. Free speech means the right to say what you think and the right not to be forced to repeat anything you don't believe. …The Washington ruling is a travesty that should be reversed and condemned by the Supreme Court.


Lewiston Morning Tribune (ID) | September 28, 2006

Any objections? None? Good, give us your money

The Supreme Court case stems from a complaint filed by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank. Foundation leaders have fought for years with the union over fees collected from nonmembers for political purposes. Liberals say the foundation is out to weaken the union's political strength. So? What does that has to do with the question at hand? The foundation's motives aren't as important as the principle involved. People shouldn't be charged money unless they say no. They should have to say yes.


Seattle Times | September 28, 2006

Courting consent

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken on a case from this state involving mandatory union dues and political contributions. The case involves an important principle: individual consent. … Common sense says they are out unless they opt in. And that means the court should side with the state.


The Columbian | September 28, 2006

In Our View - Educators' Rights

The Washington Education Association does a lot for its 80,000 members…[b]ut the union has grown far too heady and has long usurped teachers' rights to freedom of speech and association even to the extent of flouting state law. The union has strengthened its supposed rights on the backs of teachers' individual First Amendment rights. It's bad enough that the teachers union can require participation. That alone should be deemed unconstitutional. But to send teachers' money to issues and causes and candidates with which they disagree without their explicit permission is a violation that the U.S. Supreme Court must correct.


U.S. News & World Report blog | September 28, 2006

Michael Barone

Congratulations to the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, which has fought to get the law implemented over the powerful opposition of the WEA. … A U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the pro-union ruling of the Washington Supreme Court could have important reverberations for many years. These so-called paycheck protection laws are one way to cabin and reduce the power of public-employee unions, by reducing the flow of taxpayers' dollars into their coffers. And that in turn would tend to reduce the power of public-employee unions to increase their share of the private economy.


Las Vegas Review-Journal | September 27, 2006

Union dues

It is entirely proper that the onus be on the union itself to seek express permission from nonunion members before using their forcibly extracted fees to fund political activity with which they may disagree. To argue that the individual worker has no inherent free speech rights unless he actively asserts them is to advocate the erosion of the Bill of Rights. Let's hope the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.