Knox v. Service Employees Int. Union, Local 1000, 132 S.Ct. 2277 (2012)

The record of the 9th Circuit in labor law cases parallels its record in criminal law.  Favoritism toward unions was obvious as expressed in Knox v. California Service Employees, 628 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2010). The court in Knox saw no unfairness to non union members when the union announced an increase in dues, in addition to annual dues, to contest anti labor Initiatives.  Under well established U.S. Supreme Court law, a union cannot compel its members who object to political issues to contribute by mandatory payment of union dues. In 1986 the Supreme Court ordered unions to discontinue using dues to support political positions opposed by some of its members, and outlined procedural steps the union must take to assure compliance; Teachers v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986); Davenport v. Washington Ed. Assn., 551 U.S. 177 (2007).

In Knox, the 9th Circuit held the court must undertake a balancing test of competing interests, and allowed the union to compel its members to contribute to an increased assessment for political purposes.  The Supreme Court disposed of this absurd argument summarily and reversed the 9th Circuit with instructions for the union – and the 9th Circuit – to follow the law.

Although not a criminal case or one involving Constitutional issues, Knox is another illustration of the ideological bias of the 9th Circuit and adds to the growing number of its reversals.  The currrent term of the Supreme Court will set another record for reversals of the 9th Circuit.  The cost of 9th Circuit reversals, including the death penalty, is enormous, and the volume of 9th Circuit cases so heavy several cases that should have been reversed escaped Supreme Court review.  

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