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Did Supremes Tip Obamacare Vote in Union Dues Case?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The Supreme Court had a couple decisions today.  One of them, big whoop, the FCC didn't warn Fox and CBS early enough so the F-word was fine as it happened on TV.  The F-bomb was inadvertent, the FCC didn't tell 'em soon enough not to do it or what have you. 

Then there was a 7-2 decision where the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals got slapped down along with the Service Employees International Union.  Now, in and of itself, it's not monumental.  Well, I could be wrong about that.  Some of these Supreme Court decisions, it takes a while for me to digest them.  Let me tell you what the decision is first.  The Supreme Court today ruled that unions must give nonmembers an immediate chance to object to unexpected fee increases or special assessments that all workers are required to pay in closed-shop unions.  The SEIU argued that their once-a-year warning was sufficient.  The court said, no, it's not.  The court said that unions have to give nonmembers an immediate chance to object to unexpected fee increases. 

So if you're a nonmember of a union but you're working in a union shop and the union decides to raise dues or whatever, they have to tell you immediately so that you can decide whether you're gonna accept the new fee and pay it, or not.  That's what the court just decided.  I don't want to make too big of a deal out of this, but I want to read to you from the majority opinion.  I'm gonna be very, very brief.  "The majority thus decides, for the very first time, that the First Amendment does require an opt-in system in some circumstances [for union dues]: the levying of a special assessment or dues increase."

Now, it's not that big a leap to think that if the court says that for the first time, the majority for the first time, that the First Amendment does require an opt-in system.  Meaning, you have to be told before they can make you do this.  It's not that big a leap to think that the court is of the same opinion when it comes to health care and striking down the mandate.  So I don't know.  Off the top of my fertile mind, which I'm sure in subsequent e-mails that I will receive in mere moments, will be shot down by legal scholars.  In my fertile mind, I'm thinking this could be a tip, a tip-off, an indication.  I'm not saying that it is, and I'm not saying that Justice has intended that with the release of this opinion today, but it's interesting, it's a 7-2 decision. 

However, two justices wrote their own opinion because they wanted to dissent from that aspect of the decision.  Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan dissented from the opinion, but Sotomayor and Ginsburg said they did not join the majority opinion that the First Amendment requires an opt-in system.  You could say that it was 5-4 on that provision, not 7-2, because Sotomayor, the wise Latina, and Ginsburg dissented from that aspect in the majority opinion.  So on the notion of an opt- in, it was 5-4, not 7-2.  Doesn't turn out that way, but I'm just telling you the way if they could have voted provision by provision. 

In and of itself the decision is interesting 'cause it slaps down the Ninth Circus and it slaps down the SEIU, who are able to simply levy increases whenever they wanted with nobody being able to opt out of it.  And what happened was a nonmember by the name of Dianne Knox and other nonmembers of the SEIU wanted to object and opt- out of a $12 million special assessment that the union required from its California public sector members for political campaigning.  Knox said, (paraphrasing) "I don't want my money going the way you're gonna spend it."  Now, she's not a member. She's a nonmember working in a union shop, and she didn't want to pay this special assessment. And they said, "Well, you didn't opt- out in time." 

She said, "I didn't know that I had to."

"Well, we warned you every year that you have the opportunity."

"Well, I didn't see it, I forgot about it."  It went to court, and the Supreme Court said to the SEIU, "You've gotta tell 'em when you're gonna do this and you've gotta give 'em notice and you've gotta give 'em a chance to opt- out of it."  I don't know, some might say, Pelosi's office, they might call it a bitch slap, I don't know.  (laughing) On the Planet of Stupider.  But it is pretty big in the sense that now the union has to tell people, nonmembers, at least according to this decision, that if they're gonna raise dues for campaigns or whatever, these nonmembers have a chance -- (interruption) Well, I don't know if it applies all over the country or just in California.  I don't know what the jurisdiction is. 

That's why I say there's always more to learn about these things.  This stuff comes out this morning and with all the other show prep, there's not enough time to delve fully into this.  That's why I want to leave it open ended. Basically what happened here is that the court struck down the money-laundering scheme, is what happened here, at least in California, the SEIU there.  The vote was 7-2.  We see that even Elena Kagan is further to the left than Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but it's another blow to the DNC's fundraising mechanism.  They just can't raise money arbitrarily, special assessment, raise dues, however you want to characterize it, for political purposes.  They have to give these nonmembers a chance to opt- out, and that's big.  So the money-laundering scheme suffers a bit of a hit.

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