After Attending Oral Arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, Buckeye’s Robert Alt Reacts

Feb 26, 2018

Columbus, OH – Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, issued the following statement after attending the oral arguments in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 at the Supreme Court of the United States.

“Today, Mark Janus, and all hard-working public employees, had their day in court. Mr. Janus’s lawsuit has the potential to be one of the most important labor and free speech cases in the past 40 years.

“Justice Kennedy, who is traditionally a swing vote on the Supreme Court, asked very tough questions of the union lawyers, in which he expressed major concerns about the speech at issue being both compelled and political. Given how frequently Justice Kennedy is in the majority, his questions have to be a cause of concern for those seeking to continue the practice of forcing public servants to pay for union speech with which they may disagree.

“What Mark, and others before him have done is not easy. Standing up for your rights and the rights of others is rarely an easy thing to do, but it must be done. It is immoral for the government to force hard-working public servants to pay for political speech with which they disagree under the threat of being fired. It is also unconstitutional.”

The Buckeye Institute filed briefs with the Supreme Court of the United States supporting the free speech rights of public employees like Mr. Janus.