Gorsuch, President Trump's appointee to fill Scalia's seat, has been seen as providing the fifth vote for the conservatives, but he was uncharacteristically quiet during Monday's argument. The Supreme Court will decide whether the facts of this case are foreign or domestic and, based on that, whether the law can be applied to information stored in another country.
It is technically a First Amendment issue in the case of Janus v.
Janus, the IL child support specialist who is suing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is represented by Jacob Heubert, an attorney with the conservative Liberty Justice Center, an Illinois-based, corporate-backed anti-union organization.
Labor watchdogs and business groups are holding out hope that the Supreme Court will reverse course after 40 years of allowing government workers to pay mandatory union fees.
The case was brought by an IL worker who says he has a constitutional right not to contribute anything to a union with which he disagrees. Back then, the courts "split the baby" in its decision surrounding similar questions.
How likely is Congress to resolve the problem that the Supreme Court is debating? They said that making the fees optional would let employees become "free riders" who benefit from collective bargaining without paying for it.
Mark Janus, a government employee in IL, is challenging the fee on the grounds that it violates his right to free speech.
"Our freedom to negotiate better pay, benefits and job security as union members was under attack", Saunders said in a statement. In short, a union's worst nightmare. HGEA has given more than $340,000 to campaigns and the United Public Workers gave at least $210,000 in the same time frame, the data shows. A few years ago, in a related case, the court encouraged a challenge on this point.
In the aftermath of these struggles, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) drew far-reaching conclusions about the nature of the unions.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John J. DiMotto agreed with the unions, declaring WERC's petition rules invalid and overturning the commission's decisions not to hold certification elections for the unions.
"So the idea is that Mark Janus, our client who we represented at the Supreme Court, is basically saying that what they're doing in some cases hurts him". Negotiating for fair pay, safe working conditions, and other rights is practically impossible when opposition advocates for lower pay and less "inconvenience" to the employer. In an earlier period, when the unions, despite their pro-capitalist leadership and their subordination of workers to the Democratic Party, served to increase the income of workers or at least protect it from diminution, this categorization remained valid.
In that case, which was brought by California teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, identical arguments were made before the court.
UHPA Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman declined to say how many non-member employees pay fair-share fees to that union.
On the other side, unions have a powerful ally: the speaker of the house.
Daniel Lazar, a Ph.D candidate in electrical engineering and head steward for UC Student-Workers Union 2865 (UAW), said that the case is a "clean cut attack on public unions".
A lawyer for the union in the case told us the law is clear, and correct, and has plenty of precedent. CEI released a report January 24 arguing that unions should choose to form as member-only groups to avoid the free-rider problem. Their budgets could plummet.
"Much as I oppose Janus, it's kind of a wake-up call for entrenched union leadership", New York City teacher Arthur Goldstein blogged recently.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard a almost identical case back in 2016.
The largest public union in the state, representing 29,000 members, also represents about 1,000 non-member employees who pay fair-share fees, he said. Even the Jerry Brown administration weighed in on reforming the rule. "All those people who promised to help unions - they have to be accountable", she says.
Privacy experts say the legislation does not do enough to protect consumer interests either in the United States or overseas.
The Janus case is the big one, though. The U.S. government has pointed to that brief as conclusive proof that there is no real conflict with Irish interests if the court order is enforced. It's not the most watched result of the Trump presidency, but it could be one of the most substantive results of it to date.