On C-SPAN Radio’ s historic Supreme Court Oral Argument this week: On January 10, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the oral argument in “Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000”-- a case about whether the First Amendment gives state employees the right to decline to pay union dues used by the union for political advocacy.
And on December 24, on C-SPAN Radio’s historic Supreme Court oral argument, a case cited in “Knox v. SEIU.” From 2007:
“Gary Davenport and others, Petitioners v. the state of Washington Education Association, Respondent.”
In some states, public sector labor unions are allowed to collect fees from non-union members. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that unions may use these fees for political purposes---, but only if the non-union member does not object. Washington state also has a "paycheck protection" law, which requires unions to obtain specific permission from non-members before using their fees for political activity. Gary Davenport, a non-union teacher, sued the Washington Education Association teacher's union for violating the law.
The association appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals, arguing that Washington state's requirement that unions get prior permission was an unconstitutional burden on the unions' First Amendment right to associate for political purposes. Gary Davenport countered that his own First Amendment rights were being violated when his fees went to political causes he did not agree with. The State Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Washington Education Association.
Listen to the courtroom recording of the oral argument in the 2007 case "Davenport v. Washington Education Association”--Saturday, December 24 at 6 pm ET on C-SPAN Radio: 90.1 FM in the Washington, DC area, online at Cspanradio.org and nationwide on XM Satellite Radio, channel 119. The audio and information in this program are courtesy of the Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law at: http://www.oyez.org/