Wednesday, June 3, 2020

#TXLEGE: Paxton sets up lege to do something Amazing (they probably won't)

"Understand, you senseless among the people;
And you fools, when will you be wise?"
Psalm 94:8

Wall St. Journal yesterday:
The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, plans to release an advisory opinion soon that could help free public employees who are fed up with their union. In 2018 in Janus v. Afscme, the Supreme Court said that union fees couldn’t be deducted from the paycheck of a government worker who didn’t “affirmatively consent.”

The question is what flows from this logic. Last fall Alaska Governor Michael Dunleavy, citing Janus, signed an order to let state workers quit the union anytime, instead of only during 10 enchanted days once each year. Union members also would have to refresh their consent forms periodically. Those changes are on hold pending a legal challenge.

Mr. Paxton’s advisory opinion takes a similar tack. In Texas, it explains, public unions “serve as a middleman” by circulating and then submitting the dues authorizations for state workers: “State agencies appear to have no independent method of confirming that an employee knowingly and voluntarily consented to the payroll deduction without any coercion or improper inducement.”

One solution, the opinion says, would be for the state to take fee authorizations directly from each employee. Mr. Paxton evaluates some suggested waiver verbiage, under which a public worker would certify: “I recognize that I have a First Amendment right to associate, including the right not to associate. . . . I am not compelled to pay a labor organization any money as a condition of employment, and I do not have to sign this consent form.”

Even then, Mr. Paxton says, a waiver can’t be presumed to last forever: “A one-time, perpetual authorization is inconsistent with the Court’s conclusion in Janus that consent must be knowingly and freely given.” The expiration date for such consent is an open question, the opinion says. But if the waivers were made valid for “one year from the time given,” a court would probably agree that’s “sufficiently contemporaneous to be constitutional.”
This sounds AWESOME...unfortunately:
Mr. Paxton’s advisory opinion isn’t binding....The Legislature, which ultimately controls the deduction framework for state and local workers, should heed Mr. Paxton’s call, too, once lawmakers convene in January.
Yeah, that won't happen.

But it's a nice thought.

Bottom Line: Paxtoni's certainly correct on the legal argument, but if the lege had any intention of addressing union dues, they would have done so EONS ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.