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The Violation Of The First Amendment Essay

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ISSUE: Does having members who opt out of a union continue to pay agency fees violate the First Amendment to the Constitution? Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association 136 S. Ct. 1083, 194 L. Ed. 2d 255 The issue at hand is whether or not it is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution to require non-union members to pay agency fees. Agency fees are used to pay for representing employees and negotiating contracts, in addition to lobbying activities to support collective bargaining negotiations or secure advocates. The argument is that because these fees are used for lobbying, it potentially violates the first amendment right to prevent individuals from funding political speech that they disagree with. In addition, the argument is that collective bargaining is also political since wages and benefits that unions negotiate on also come out of the public budget. The other side of the argument is that paying these fees contributes to collective bargaining and prevents individuals from free loading representation by the union in negotiations of wages, breaks, etc. This specific case dealt with the California Teachers association and the role its union plays in funding lobbying that is not supported by certain teachers that are non-union members. Agency shop laws require for dues to be paid as a condition of employment. This case was decided by the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit in San Francisco in favor of union fees on the basis of the case
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