Davenport v. Washington Ed. Assn. (US 05-1589 and 05-1657) (Decided by Supreme Court on 6-14-07)
Washington State allows public-sector unions to charge nonmembers an agency fee equivalent to membership dues and to have the employer collect that fee through payroll deductions. An initiative approved by state voters requires a union to obtain the nonmembers’ affirmative authorization before using their fees for election-related purposes. The issue before the Supreme Court was whether requiring unions to obtain affirmative authorization violated the Constitution. The Supreme Court held that it does not violate the First Amendment for a State to require its public-sector unions to receive affirmative authorization from a nonmember before spending that nonmember’s agency fees for election-related purposes.