Today, the Nevada Policy Research Institute, alongside 12 other public policy organizations from across the nation, have formally requested that the United States Supreme Court grant Certiorari in the Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine case.
Maine university professor Jonathan Reisman is challenging the state’s exclusive bargaining law, which requires Reisman to accept the union’s advocacy as his own, even though he objects to union representation and opposes its advocacy on his behalf.
Nevada law similarly denies public workers their basic First Amendment rights — including the 50 percent of state educators who have rejected membership with their workplace union but are nonetheless forced to accept the union’s advocacy and representation during labor negotiations.
While a plain reading of the United States Constitution makes clear that free speech rights prohibit such compelled representation, the Supreme Court sanctioned such First Amendment infringements nearly 50 years ago on the grounds that doing so was necessary to promote the compelling state interest of “labor peace” — a term the Court never even attempted to define, let alone justify.
In 2018, the Court took an important first step towards correcting this profound error when they held in Janus that it is a clear violation of an employee’s First Amendment rights to be forced to pay dues to a union they do not support. However, lower courts nationwide continue to deny many workers their fundamental right to speak and advocate on their own behalf, which is why the Supreme Court must take up the Reisman case and clarify that compelled representation is also an unjustifiable violation of the First Amendment.
“Nevada Policy believes that unions, or any organization for that matter, should earn their support through the free choices of those people they wish to represent, rather than through government coercion,” said NPRI Vice President and Director of Policy Robert Fellner.
Original Petition (Filed January 2, 2020.)
Amicus brief of State Public Policy Organizations (Filed February 5, 2020.)
For more information, please contact Robert Fellner at Robert@NevadaPolicy.org.