Davenport v. Wash. Educ. Ass'n

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In Davenport v. Wash. Educ. Ass'n, 127 S. Ct. 2372 (2007), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held against the Washington Education Association's attempt to collect union dues for political (almost entirely Democratic) purposes from teachers without their affirmative consent. The opinion was written by Justice Antonin Scalia. The Court overruled a Washington Supreme Court decision that a state law requiring consent was somehow a burden on the free speech rights of the Washington Education Association.

The Supreme Court did uphold a Washington state law requiring employees who declined to join the union to pay union dues for collective bargaining efforts. But the Court held that none of those dues can be spent on political activities unless such use is "affirmatively authorized by the individual."

Newspapers nationwide applauded this ruling. But as the Investors Business Daily asked rhetorically, "Now the question is, will the unions obey the ruling?"[1] Litigation to compel the union to comply has gone on for years, and it faces substantial fines now.


  1. "Workers Get To Say No To Labor Bosses," Investor's Business Daily, A18 (June 18, 2007) [1]