The Court's Scott Walker Moment

Source: Garrett Epps, Progressive, June 21, 2012

Five justices tell public-employee unions they “tolerate” them–for now.

On First Amendment Thursday, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court delivered an unsubtle warning to public employee unions: You are living on borrowed time.

In Knox v. Service Employees International Union, the five–Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito–reached out to decide a question that was not argued or briefed; their opinion all but begs right-wing advocacy groups and public employers to use its emerging First-Amendment jurisprudence to take down public-employee unions and in essence find a Southern-style “right to work” law in the Constitution. In the days when right-wingers favored judicial restraint, this might have been called “judicial activism.”

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