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Supreme Court hears arguments in union case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [judicial website] heard two oral arguments on Monday.

Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31s [transcript, PDF] concerns whether mandatory agency fees violate [SCOTUSblog report] the First Amendment. The petitioners argued that previous cases that failed to apply heightened scrutiny to this issue should be overruled. The respondents argued that agency fees are a government necessity. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed concern that employees will opt-out of the fees not for ideological reasons, but because they know they will still be able to receive union benefits without making payments. Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to agree with the petitioner's argument that joining a union was political.

In Ohio v. American Express Co. [transcript, PDF] the government argued that it showed "anti-competitive harm" "by proving that American Express' anti-steering provisions have stifled interbrand price competition." Therefore, the burden would shift [SCOTUSblog report] to American Express. American Express argued that the government did not show anti-competitive harm.

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