Democrats Launch New Attacks on Right-to-Work Laws


One of the great accomplishments of the Trump era was the Janus decision — a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, supported by Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, which ruled that non-union public sector workers cannot be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. This decision is similar to right-to-work laws which extend these freedoms to most private sector workers as well. To date, 27 states have afforded their residents right-to-work protections.

Studies show that families in right-to-work states have, on average, greater after tax income and purchasing power than in non-right-to-work states. Right-to-work states also have lower unemployment rates. However, as some union bosses are struggling with major decreases in agency fee payers in the post-Janus world, Democratic politicians have drastically ramped up their efforts to overturn these laws.

The most egregious plan Democrats have to overturn right-to-work protections is their threat to pack the Supreme Court — an idea first embraced by the Left when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. Democrats view the current makeup of the court as unfavorable to their positions on labor issues, among others, and basically want the legislative and executive branches of government to overrule the judiciary by adding new additional justices in order to do their bidding. 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has called for as many as fifteen Supreme Court justices. So much for three “equal” branches of government.

IJR reports on the 2020 Democrats who view court packing favorably:

[S]ome candidates, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.) and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) have already announced their plans to change the Supreme Court.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she’s “absolutely open” to the conversation of adding more justices. Several others said they, like Harris, would consider adding justices, including entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)  Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn)”.

Strangely, on this issue Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is actually the voice of sanity. He stated, “Packing the courts is a great idea when you’re in power, not such a great idea when your political opponents are in power.”

Democrats in Congress have also launched a legislative strike against state right-to-work laws. The so-called “Protecting the Right to Organize” Act (S. 1306, H.R. 2474) would overturn state level right-to-work laws while codifying numerous Obama-era labor regulations. Democrats claim this bill defends a workers’ right to organize, when in reality, it primarily defends unpopular union bosses by making it impossible for workers to opt out of funding them.

A growing coalition of states has granted workers greater freedom to decide how their earnings are spent. But as evidenced above, these protections face growing threats. Nobody should have to pay mandatory dues to fund a union they don’t support. Americans should take note on which candidates think otherwise.

Jonathan Decker

Jonathan Decker is the Chief Economic Correspondent for

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