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0 comments | January 11, 2007 | 1:21 PM | posted by Mike Reitz

Questions posed to WEA lawyer John West from Wednesday's hearing:

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Are the First Amendment rights of the union members, of the workers who are non-union members relevant? [Y]ou begin by talking about the First Amendment but you, you proceed as if there are no First Amendment rights of, of workers involved at all.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: You want us to consider this case as if the First Amendment rights of non-union members were not involved?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: [I]s there any empirical evidence about what the people who are non-union members, if they had their druthers, would they say not a penny more goes into the union till than we are forced to put there?

Mr. West forgot to mention this, but NEA General Counsel Robert Chanin once said: “(I)t is well recognized that if you take away the mechanism of payroll deduction you won't collect a penny from these people, and it has nothing to do with voluntary or involuntary. I think it has to do with the nature of the beast, and the beasts who are our teachers...” (emphasis added).

Federal Elections Commission v. National Education Association, 457 F. Supp. 1102.

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