The significance of this week's Supreme Court decision that stated home health care workers in Illinois could not be compelled to join a union, is not just the effect it will have on that relatively small group of workers, but on the nation as a whole. The decision supports the Constitution generally, and the first amendment specifically, like no other in recent memory. It almost makes me believe that the Supreme Court of the United States "gets it."
There has been no greater threat to or violator of the concept of free association contained within the first amendment than the unions. Their power comes from politicians, mostly on the Left, and not from the workers they represent, who are compelled to associate with an organization that they may feel does not represent their values or political interests.
Some union supporters say that the mandate placed upon workers in union shops to join under threat of losing their employment must exist in order to fully benefit from collective bargaining. That it is not fair if some workers are able to opt out and still benefit from the union's representation of their co-workers. But this situation is not without precedence, the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association represent the interests of all doctors and lawyers respectively without membership being required by everyone in those professions.
Union membership in Wisconsin after Governor Scott Walker removed the membership mandate that was weighing down workers resulted in many of them choosing not to join. There, unions must register every year in order to keep their status as a labor union. The result has been that many unions have decided not to register and instead classify themselves as political advocacy groups. This is much more honest than claiming to represent workers and then laundering their dues back to Democrat politicians who support policies which benefit their organizations.
I have never understood the dichotomy of union support and pro-constitutionalism. The compulsory nature of union membership and their aversion to the principles of freedom as they relate to right-to-work states, should be sufficient evidence in convicting unions as enemies of real liberty. Their origins may have been motivated by justice for workers, but in today's world where workers' rights are not threatened, except by the unions that supposedly represent them, unions have become the antithesis of their founding. They have become bloated and corrupt organizations where the elite leadership live lavish lifestyles, not off the sweat of their own brow, but off that of their captive membership.