Without the power to enforce fees on non-members, unions could be substantially weakened because there would be a strong incentive for employees to free-ride and not pay the fees - ultimately undermining the benefits of collective bargaining.
"As we understand it, the Koch brothers are ready to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get union members to give up their unions", he says.
On the other side, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has voted against unions in past related cases, scoffed at labor's argument that there is a difference between collective bargaining over government employees' pay and benefits, and unions' political activities, which nonmembers do not have to support. After all, we don't have labor wars in states without compulsory public-union fees. Then, Justice Antonin Scalia died and the court split 4-4 - a ruling that meant agency fees would still be allowed in the public sector for the time.
When Donald Trump won the election, however, conservatives who had been backing the effort to roll back public sector unions' influence prepared to bring the question back to the high court once a new justice was confirmed.
Justice Samuel Alito asked Illinois' lawyer Franklin to explain why forcing Janus to subsidize speech he disagrees with should be treated differently from forcing him to speak.
Given that the facts ween Harris and Quinn are so similar, and that the only change between the 2014 tie and the 2017 case is the appointment of Justice Gorsuch, most court watchers believe that Janus has the upper hand. Kennedy said, suggesting that preserving public unions' political clout isn't a constitutionally justified reason for charging nonunion members. The groups are hoping the court overrules a decades-old decision that has upheld mandatory union payments.
Mark Janus, who works for the State of IL and chose not to join the AFSCME union, believes his First Amendment rights have been violated.
In January 2016, the justices heard arguments on the issue - with the court appearing to be headed to a 5-4 ruling against the unions.
"The challenges that teachers face each day seem insurmountable", an elementary school teacher told union supporters during the rally.
A case before the Supreme Court Monday could have major implications for American workers, including many here in our area. Further, 27 states do not permit mandatory agency fees, and public unions still exist in those states.
"We're having these breakout sessions today in solidarity with our unions because of the attack on unions right now", said Shannon Jenkins, an income maintenance caseworker for the Somerset County Assistance Office.
Activists noted the protection that unions have offered immigrants, women, and people of color, sparking a chant to remove Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from San Francisco.
"Property and contract rights, the statutes of many states and the livelihoods of millions of individuals affected all at once", she said.
Justice Stephen Breyer floated a sort of compromise by offering that the agency fees should really only go to union expenses on negotiating wages and hours and on grievance procedures. Typically, the fees are about three-fourths of full union dues.
Right-to-work groups contend that the 1977 ruling, known as Abood, relies on a false distinction between lobbying and collective bargaining. He asked Frederick, "If you don't prevail, will unions have less influence?"
"How many non-members who pay agency fees have you seen", KOLR10 asked.
We're learning more about them here in the Ozarks.
A decision is expected close to the end of the court's term in late June.
All eyes were on Justice Neil Gorsuch during this oral argument, but the junior justice was uncharacteristically silent.
Frederick said that overturning state laws could invalidate union contracts for millions of workers.