Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

(DC) Should Public-Sector Workers Be Forced to Pay Union Fees?

February 15, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST

Featuring Raymond J. LaJeunesse Jr., Vice President and Legal Director, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation; Donald B. Verrilli Jr., Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson and former Solicitor General of the United States; and Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Trevor Burrus, Research Fellow, Cato Institute.

On February 26, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a case that has the potential to overturn a 40-year-old precedent (Abood v. Detroit Board of Education) that allows public-sector unions to charge nonmembers “agency fees.” Currently, half the states have laws that enable such fees. Mark Janus—an Illinois state employee but not a union member—objects generally to being required to pay AFSCME, as well as to these funds being used to support the union’s ongoing legal fight against the governor’s policy reforms. Janus sued the union for violating his First Amendment rights by compelling these payments. In addition to their responses to that constitutional claim, AFSCME and Illinois have argued throughout the litigation that stare decisis—the prudential doctrine regarding judicial respect for settled precedent—demands that Abood be maintained. Cato filed a brief discussing the historical underpinnings of stare decisis and contending that a proper understanding of stare decisis actually demands that Abood be overturned. Please join us for a discussion of a case pitting workers’ rights against union rights and state powers—one that may accomplish the rare feat of reversing Supreme Court precedent.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online at www.cato.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.


Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20001-5403 United States
+ Google Map


Cato Institute
Back to top button

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This