The Buckeye Institute’s Robert Alt: Unions Should Rally Behind the First Amendment Rights of All Public Employees

Feb 24, 2018

Columbus, OH – Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, issued the following statement regarding the Working People’s Day of Action rally in Columbus, Ohio.

“Today we witnessed the First Amendment in action. Individuals who support unions joined together at a rally to freely express their opinions. But what if instead of rallying and voicing their own opinions, they were forced to pay for the speech of those who oppose unions or else they would be fired? That would be unfair, not to mention violate the First Amendment. Mark Janus and public employees in many states including Ohio face exactly that kind of predicament.

“On Monday, we will once again watch the robust protections of our constitutional system in action as Mr. Janus’ case is heard before the Supreme Court of the United States. If Mr. Janus prevails, public employees will no longer be forced to pay for political speech with which they disagree, thus ending the violation of their First Amendment rights.

“While some claim Janus v. AFSCME is an attempt to weaken unions, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief demonstrating that unions can still thrive without compulsory dues. What will change if Mr. Janus prevails is that our hard-working public servants, even those who disagree with the unions, will have their First Amendment rights protected and respected. And that is something all of us should rally behind.”