Why Janus Is Indefensible on Neutral Principles
14 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018 Last revised: 19 Dec 2018
Date Written: August 2, 2018
In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court ruled that government employees may not be forced to pay anything to a union against their will. Such compulsion, the Court said, violates First Amendment free speech rights. This decision, however, lacks a firm basis in the law. As a purported exercise of neutral judgement power, the Court's reasoning makes little sense. It hyper-scrutinizes one bit of precedent while uncritically accepting others, with no satisfying explanation for this disparity. And its analysis of original meaning is cursory and evades the key issues. Ultimately, the Janus decision cannot be justified on neutral principles: neither original meaning nor precedent can adequately explain it.
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