Supreme Court decisions affirm First Amendment In the week where we celebrate the founding of this country
In the week where we celebrate the founding of this country, the Supreme Court reinstalled Free Speech as the cornerstone of the republic with two very important and very far-reaching decisions. By 5-4 tallies in both cases, the court determined in NIFLA v. Becerra and Janus v. AFSCME that free speech rights were to be protected at all costs.
In NIFLA, the court threw out a California law that required pro-life pregnancy centers to read a scripted alert to patients that abortion facilities were an option. The Progressive California Legislature, a bastion of ultra-left fanaticism, was looking to thwart those organizations and facilities that offered a pro-life option to the destruction of the unborn.
The case was a shot across the bow to the California Assembly and other Blue State legislatures that the infringement of free speech in support of left-wing causes was not to be tolerated and would be slapped down.
It is unfortunate the left-wing members of the court – once again – voted as a block to uphold the California law. The liberal wing of the court is of the opinion, it is more and more apparent, that the outcome is more important than the law. Free speech, it follows, is to be scuttled if the outcome serves the political agenda.
The ruling serves as a slap to the ever-increasing belief among so-called Progressives that free speech is a hurdle to be toppled in its quest to dictate the lives of the great unwashed. As seen in the riots in Portland, OR over the weekend, speech is considered by these radicals a form of violence to be met with more violence.
This is a dangerous tenet. The left is attempting to silence with who it disagrees. If they can’t do it by the ballot box, they will do it through violence. The ultimate irony lost on organizations such as Antifa is that while it calls its opponents fascists, it is Antifa and other such organizations that look like the black shirts and brown shirts of the recent past.
Meanwhile, a 40-year-old Supreme Court ruling was finally overturned as the infringement on speech it was. In Janus, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of individuals over unions that collective bargaining agents cannot force employees to join. In states such as Connecticut, public employee unions were, by statute, able to collect dues from the unwilling as a stipulation of employment.
Over the last 40 years we have seen the logical result of the symbiosis between public sector unions and politicians. Unions collect dues from those willing and unwilling to join, they put the money toward politicians that would support – and be beholden – to the unions, and further policies supported by the unions are enacted.
Despite the fact that unions electing those who would be their negotiators are an obvious conflict of interest against the citizenry, unions used their dues to act as a donor to mostly Democratic candidates. The result is clear. In states such as Connecticut nearly a billion dollars in unfunded liabilities has resulted in the form of pensions and other benefits given to public sector workers.
Over the last few decades employees have protested the fact the unions have supported causes and policies they do not wish to support, but the previous precedent gave them no standing. Seeing the case as a First Amendment one put the situation in the proper perspective and restored to individuals the right to opt out of bargaining agents with whom they disagree.
The ruling will be a devastating one for the Democratic Party. It was not by accident the unions have been called the party’s ATM. Instead, the unions themselves, seeing where the ruling was headed, have made plans to cut back staff and decrease political activity. The National Education Association expects to lose upwards of 300,000 members with the decision.
The First Amendment is the bulwark protecting our rights as citizens of a free republic. The Supreme Court, after decades of outcome-based decisions, has finally come out in favor of the Constitution and what it says.
That is a win for all of America and its people.