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Reflecting on the Past Year

The holidays are a great time to be with friends and family and reflect on the year that was and the year that is to come. Around this time last year I know I wasn’t prepared for the exciting developments that were about to happen. 

At the end of February I went to the U.S. Supreme Court with the Liberty Justice Center to present oral arguments for our case. And I found the courage to appear on all major media outlets to explain to the rest of the nation the plight of government workers – that millions of people were being forced to fund the union, just to keep our jobs and serve the public.

The months of suspense finally ended June 27 when the Supreme Court restored government workers’ First Amendment rights, ruling it was unconstitutional to require government employees to join or fund a union as a condition of employment. At that point things really picked up.

Shortly after the victory, I decided to make a career change at the age of 65, and spend my time before retirement advocating on behalf of government workers trapped and coerced by their union. 

In September, the Liberty Justice Center sent cease-and-desist letters to government officials in more than a dozen states notifying them were violating the Supreme Court ruling by continuing to deduct dues from the paychecks of workers who had not confirmed their union membership after June 27. Some of the states rebuffed our call for workers rights. Many of the states replied, indicating they had no intention of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision.

After hearing from hundreds of workers who were being denied the right to leave their union, the only thing left to do was to force government and union officials to obey the law through litigation. 

In November we filed suit in California against the United Teachers of Los Angeles on behalf of Tommy Few, a special education teacher whose request to leave had been denied three times. We also went to New Mexico to represent state employee Brett Hendrickson who had to wait until a two-week window to resign his membership from AFSCME Council 18.

2018 has been an incredible, encouraging year for freedom! More opportunities to gain ground for worker freedom in other states are on the horizon. Here’s hoping in 2019 all government employees are able to exercise their right to free speech and freedom of association!

Happy New Year!

~Mark Janus