Supreme Court Decision in “Janus v. AFSCME” Will Undermine Teachers Unions and the Common Good

“In my opinion, those who think the Janus ruling is irrelevant are fooling themselves. So are those who think this decision will kill all public employee unions.

The factors that pushed teachers to unionize in the past century will not go away. The tools at their disposal may change – but the drive to improve their careers and workplaces will continue.” – Sherman Dorn, Professor of Education, Arizona State University


Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court released its long anticipated decision in Janus v. AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). The decision undermines workers’ rights by threatening the fiscal viability public sector unions, including teachers unions.

The same issue—union agency (fair share) fees—was heard in 2016 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, but after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the court split 4-4, and the issue at the heart of the case was left unresolved.  After President Donald Trump appointed conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, and after the new case of Janus v. AFSCME was appealed to the high court, yesterday’s decision ending fair share fees had been expected.

Yesterday’s 5 to 4 decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence…

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NAACP holds rally in front of Bethany Christian Services offices, draws attention to the separation of immigrant families in detention

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Yesterday, the Detroit Chapter of the NAACP came to Grand Rapids to hold a rally in front of the offices of Bethany Christian Services, because of the current crisis surrounding the separation of immigrant families in detention.

The event also included a spokesperson from the Grand Rapids NAACP, members of the UAW from Detroit, La SED and several pastors who addressed the crowd of roughly 100 who stood across from the offices of Bethany, holding signs.

There was some important points that were made during the rally. First, one of the pastors who spoke made the point that the children who were brought to Bethany and other agencies in the state, were brought in between 11pm and 7am, “during the cover of night. What is it that the government was hiding that caused them to transport these children in the middle of the night?”

The representative from La SED (Latin…

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