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BY: Mary Lou Lang
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of free speech, throwing out a lower court ruling that allows states to force lawyers to subsidize state bar associations and their political activities.
Justices - US - Eight - Circuit - Court
The justices ordered the U.S. Eight Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision in Fleck v. Wetch in light of the Janus case in which SCOTUS ruled mandating union fees as a condition of employment violates workers' free speech rights.
"This is an important first step towards extending Janus protections to attorneys," said Goldwater Institute senior attorney Jacob Huebert, who was on the legal team that won the Janus case. "The same principles apply here that applied there: The government can't take people's money to pay for other people's political speech without asking first."
Arnold - Fleck - North - Dakota - Lawyer
Arnold Fleck, a North Dakota lawyer, filed suit in 2015 to challenge a law requiring North Dakota attorneys to join the state bar association and pay member dues that are used to support political activities. Fleck was in the same position as the teachers in the Janus case—forced to subsidize political activities he did not support.
A federal Court of Appeals ruled against Fleck in Aug. 2017, ruling that the bar association was complying with the law by allowing attorneys to opt out if they...
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