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0 comments | September 28, 2006 | 9:03 AM | posted by Mike Reitz

The Seattle Times editorial page called on the Supreme Court to side with the state against the Washington Education Association's illegal practices.

Is it enough if the union tells a worker it is taking his money unless he says no? Or does consent require that he say yes? The first is called "opt-out," because he is assumed to be in the group unless he goes out. The second is called "opt-in," because he is assumed to be out of the group unless he comes in.

In a union shop, the individuals start as members of a group. They are in unless they opt out. But this case is about people who already did opt out.

Common sense says they are out unless they opt in. And that means the court should side with the state.

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0 comments | September 27, 2006 | 4:54 PM | posted by Mike Reitz

SCOTUSblog has gathered all petitions and amicus briefs for Davenport/Washington v. Washington Education Association. Links here:

Davenport Petition, Washington Petition, Consolidated WEA Brief in Opposition, Pacific Legal Foundation Amicus, Institute for Justice Amicus, Campaign Legal Center Amicus, Evergreen Freedom Foundation Amicus, Davenport Reply, Washington Reply.

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0 comments | 4:49 PM | posted by Mike Reitz

The Washington Education Association cases are getting plenty of media attention, including: New York Times, Washington Post, Seattle Times, and Washington Times. The Houston Chronicle ran the AP version.

The Association of American Educators and the American Legislative Exchange Council both applauded the Court's decision to grant review.

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0 comments | September 26, 2006 | 4:44 PM | posted by Mike Reitz

Attorney General Rob McKenna’s statement on the U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear teacher union fees case.

For Immediate Release: Sept. 26, 2006

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Rob McKenna today issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review the case of Washington v. Washington Education Association. The case concerns the right of the Washington Education Association to decide how to spend compulsory fees paid by public education employees who are not union members.

"This is an extremely important case for the First Amendment rights of workers and we’re pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has chosen to hear our appeal,” McKenna said. “By overwhelmingly approving Initiative 134, voters said they did not want people to be forced to fund union political activities against their consent. By accepting our appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court will now decide whether non-members, who are required to pay union fees, must affirmatively opt-in before the union can spend some of their non-member fees on political causes."

Initiative 134, passed by 73 percent of voters in 1992, required labor organizations to obtain the "affirmative authorization" (opt-in) of non-members before the organization could spend the fees for the union's political contributions and expenditures to influence an election or to operate a political committee. The WEA contends all it is required to do is allow non-members the option to opt out of having their fees used for political purposes.

In March, the State Supreme Court struck down the portion of I-134 requiring the WEA to obtain affirmative authorization in a 6-3 decision. The case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in January.

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0 comments | 3:18 PM | posted by Mike Reitz

The Supreme Court has accepted Davenport v. Washington Education Association (05-1589) and Washington v. Washington Education Association (05-1657) and consolidated the cases for argument.

“This is excellent news and a first step toward securing the First Amendment free speech rights of teachers and 17 million union-represented employees across the country,” said Michael Reitz of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF), an initial complainant in the case. “We look forward to the oral arguments in January, and are optimistic that the Court will restore justice for teachers.”

The rest of Evergreen Freedom Foundation's press release here.

National Right to Work's press release.

Washington Education Association's press release and a fact-check by EFF.

Pacific Research Institute's press release here.

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