Court ruling to help Christian teachers, supporters say
WASHINGTON (BP)-- Christians and other teachers in public schools, as well as the school-choice movement, stand to benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today (June 27) that public-sector unions may not require fees from nonmembers, supporters of the ruling say.
In a 5-4 opinion, the high court ruled against such mandates by government and public-sector unions and overturned a 41-year-old Supreme Court decision in the process. The justices decided such a requirement on workers who refuse to join the union is a violation of free-speech protections in the First Amendment.
"States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees," Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court's opinion.
A union procedure that automatically deducts fees from a nonmember's wages "violates the First Amendment and cannot continue," he said. "Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember's wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay."
The ruling offers important implications for Christians and other teachers with faith convictions, according to the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI).