Unions’ Orwellian “Takings Clause” Argument
Unions in Idaho and Wisconsin have filed federal lawsuits claiming that employees who don't want to be in their unions are violating the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause by not paying for union representation. For those unfamiliar with the section, the Takings Clause says that "private property (shall not) be taken for public use, without just compensation." The unions' claim is that the act of collective bargaining is a union's "private property," and that employees who are subject to the union's agreements but reject the union are not compensating these unions for that property interest.
The irony is that a straightforward reading of the Takings Clause should actually protect individual employees from having their paychecks bitten into without consent. These lawsuits use the reverse argument—requiring the Court to believe that the paychecks of employees are fundamentally union property to begin with, and that nonunion employees are “taking” money away from them by withholding their support.
In the past the Supreme Court has found that "unions have no constitutional entitlement to the fees of non-member employees," so the odds of success in these lawsuits do not appear high. But even if the law wasn't in favor of the rights of individual workers, the idea that unions have a constitutional right to the paychecks of laborers who reject them seems not only undemocratic but also, frankly, immoral.
Workers – whether union members and not – deserve better than that.