Law & Courts Collection

Janus, the Supreme Court, and Teachers' Unions

Complete Coverage of the Landmark Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a major blow to teachers’ unions, ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 that teachers in about half of states do not have to pay “agency” or “shop” fees if they’re not union members.
The case centers around Mark Janus, an Illinois health-care worker arguing that he should not be forced to pay monthly union fees to keep his job. The Supreme Court ruling means that teachers’ unions will lose out on a major source of revenue, and will likely see a big dip in membership as well.
The case has pitted teachers from two points of view against each other: those who think unions benefit all workers and those who resent having to pay fees to an entity they feel does not represent them.
Get caught up on the case by reading some of our coverage below.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. reads the court's 5-4 majority decision in Janus v AFSCME on June 27.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. reads the court's 5-4 majority decision in <i>Janus</i> v <i>AFSCME</i> on June 27.
Art Lien
Law & Courts Commentary The Supreme Court's Decision on Union Dues Will Have Profound Consequences
Teachers already make less than comparable employees, and the 'Janus' decision could make things worse, writes Celine McNicholas.
Celine McNicholas, June 27, 2018
3 min read
Plaintiff Mark Janus, center, sits with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, left, and Liberty Justice Center founder and chairman John Tillman inside the U.S. Supreme Court as the decision in Janus v AFSCME is delivered. The Illinois-based Liberty Justice Center has been representing Janus in his years-long challenge to union fees.
Plaintiff Mark Janus, center, sits with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, left, and Liberty Justice Center founder and chairman John Tillman inside the U.S. Supreme Court as the decision in Janus v AFSCME is delivered. The Illinois-based Liberty Justice Center has been representing Janus in his years-long challenge to union fees.
Art Lien
Law & Courts Commentary Why the Court's Ruling Against Mandatory Union Dues Is a Good Thing
We should be cheered by the 'Janus' ruling, but not because it weakens teachers’ unions, writes the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey.
Neal McCluskey, June 27, 2018
4 min read
The U.S. Supreme Court meets for the last day of opinions on June 27.
The U.S. Supreme Court meets for the last day of opinions on June 27.
Art Lien
Law & Courts What the Supreme Court Justices Say: Quotes From the 'Janus' Ruling
Here are some key passages from the majority and dissenting opinions in the Supreme Court ruling on Janus v. AFSCME.
June 27, 2018
4 min read
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, center, gives a thumbs up to supporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, after justices ruled that public-employee unions can't collect agency fees from nonmembers. Accompanying Rauner are, from left: Liberty Justice Center's Director of Litigation Jacob Huebert, plaintiff Mark Janus, and Liberty Justice Center founder and chairman John Tillman, right.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, center, gives a thumbs up to supporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, after justices ruled that public-employee unions can't collect agency fees from nonmembers. Accompanying Rauner are, from left: Liberty Justice Center's Director of Litigation Jacob Huebert, plaintiff Mark Janus, and Liberty Justice Center founder and chairman John Tillman, right.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court Deals Unions a Stinging Defeat in 'Janus' Case
Teacher and other public employee unions can’t collect agency fees from nonmembers, the court ruled in the Janus case, a decision that could hurt unions' revenue and membership numbers.
Mark Walsh & Madeline Will, June 27, 2018
9 min read
The U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision soon in the Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 case. At stake are the so-called “agency” or “fair share” fees that public-employee unions in 22 states charge workers who are not union members but still reap the benefits of collective bargaining.
The U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision soon in the <i>Janus</i> v. <i>American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31</i> case. At stake are the so-called “agency” or “fair share” fees that public-employee unions in 22 states charge workers who are not union members but still reap the benefits of collective bargaining.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP-File
Law & Courts To Stem Likely Membership Losses, Teachers' Unions Play Offense
The Supreme Court is poised to deliver a blow to the teachers' unions any day now—and labor groups are trying to get ahead of it by pushing controversial state bills.
Madeline Will, June 14, 2018
7 min read