WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2018) — Governor Bruce Rauner today attended oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States on Janus v. AFSCME, a landmark court case initiated by the administration that aims to restore free speech to public employees and forever alter the relationship between taxpayers and public unions.
“Shortly after taking office in 2015, I took action to protect the free speech and free association rights of government employees who are forced to pay union dues and fund political causes they don’t agree with,” said Rauner. “Today, as these arguments are heard before the United States Supreme Court, I am proud of what we started three years ago. The gravity of the court’s decision will be felt not just in Illinois, but across America and I am confident that they will side with free speech for the people of our great nation.”
In 2015, the Rauner administration issued an executive order – and filed Rauner v. AFSCME in federal court – making it illegal for public sector unions to collect dues from government workers who opted out of a union. When a federal judge ruled that, as governor, Rauner didn’t have standing to represent workers in the suit, Mark Janus, an employee of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services stepped in.
The Rauner administration wants to change a law that requires public employees to pay dues even if they aren’t in the union, a practice that has gone on in America for the last 40 years.
“No person should be forced to give up a portion of their pay each month to fund public sector union activity,” Rauner said. “It’s a fundamental violation of cherished American rights to free speech and free association.”