Bagenstos: Supreme Court’s “Extremely Regrettable” Janus Decision “Undermines Strong Unions”

            Samuel Bagenstos, a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in Janus v. AFSCME:

            “Today’s decision in the Janus case is extremely regrettable.  The decision overrules a 40-year-old precedent, disrupts settled arrangements in cities and states across the country, and undermines strong unions.

            “I was proud to file a brief that made the case for the Court to adhere to its longstanding precedent allowing unions to collect fair-share fees from the workers they represent.  Our brief argued that strong and stable unions do not just benefit workers; they also benefit society by promoting the effective delivery of public services.  Justice Kagan, in her powerful dissenting opinion, repeatedly cited that brief.

            “As a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, I would of course be bound to follow the Janus decision and any other decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.  But today’s ruling underscores the need for change at all levels of the judicial system—and the need for judges with experience standing up for workers.

            “I have spent my career fighting for workers’ rights and civil rights.  In my work, I have seen just how important the courts are as the last line of defense for our rights—as an independent body that stands ready to hold anyone, no matter how rich, powerful, or well-connected, accountable when they violate the law.

            “Change on the courts begins this November 6, when Michigan voters have the opportunity to make a fundamental change on the Michigan Supreme Court.”

Samuel Bagenstos