The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today released an analysis revealing that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill is a “Trojan Horse,” containing crafty language designed specifically to gut the U.S. Supreme Court Beck decision.
National Right to Work Foundation attorneys won the U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers of America v. Beck decision in 1988, allowing employees to halt and reclaim all forced union dues not used for collective bargaining activity, like politics.
The legal analysis, written by one of the Foundation attorneys who won the Supreme Court’s Beck decision, demonstrates that the McCain-Feingold legislation would:
- Hand the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) exclusive jurisdiction to enforce Beck — stripping the federal courts of their jurisdiction to do the same. (The NLRB has consistently dragged its heels with regard to Beck enforcement.)
- Overrule 40 years of the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of federal labor laws by sanctioning the use, now prohibited, of compulsory dues for a broad range of political and ideological purposes.
- Repudiate the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1961 decision in Machinists v. Street that no political and ideological activities may be subsidized with compulsory union dues.
- Gut the U.S. Supreme Court Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson decision requiring union officials to provide nonmembers with an independent audit of union expenditures before seizing any forced dues. Under McCain-Feingold, union officials would no longer be required to provide full disclosure.
Fresno, Calif. (January 9, 2001) — Four Bakersfield teachers today filed a federal lawsuit to strike down the California Teachers Association (CTA) union’s statewide policy of seizing forced union dues from teachers’ paychecks that are funneled into questionable and undisclosed union activities, including politics.
The teachers charge that the CTA union’s policy illegally directs local affiliates statewide to seize union dues without first providing an independently audited financial disclosure.
The teachers filed the lawsuit, Lakin v. CTA, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the CTA union, its Kern High Faculty Association union affiliate, and Kern High School District (for enforcing the illegal collection of dues).
“CTA union officials devised this statewide scheme to force California’s teachers to fund their massive political operation,” said Randy Wanke, Director of Legal Information for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is providing free legal aid to the teachers.
Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as articulated in the Foundation-won Supreme Court decision in Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, union officials must first provide independently audited disclosure of their books and prove that forced union dues are not spent on non-bargaining activities like politics.
Using CTA union procedures, hundreds of CTA-affiliated local unions are intentionally circumventing the constitutional requirements for disclosure by claiming that the percentage of the local union activities tied to collective bargaining could be arbitrarily “presumed” to be equivalent to the percentage reported on the CTA union’s financial disclosure.
Under two previous Foundation-won federal court rulings, Sheffield v. CTA and Foster v. CTA, there is absolutely no debate that this “local presumption” scheme is unconstitutional. However, the state’s largest union continues to use it. In this lawsuit, Foundation attorneys seek to have the CTA union’s statewide “local presumption” procedures declared unconstitutional; enjoin the CTA union from directing local affiliates to use those procedures; and enjoin the Kern High Faculty Association union from seizing union dues using those procedures.