Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Case Summary | Law Explained

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Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees | 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018)

In Nineteen Seventy-Seven, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that states may require public employees to pay fees toward union representation even if they don’t join the union. In Janus versus American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Supreme Court reconsidered the constitutionality of a similar Illinois law under the First Amendment.

Under Illinois law, all public employees represented by an exclusive bargaining union were required to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Mark Janus was an Illinois state employee whose unit was represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Janus refused to join his union because he opposed many of its policy positions. Janus filed suit claiming that deducting union dues from his monthly paycheck violated his First Amendment rights. Specifically, Janus argued that requiring him to subsidize the union forced him to finance its speech on matters of substantial public concern.

The district court dismissed the claim, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court granted cert.

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