Unions Get Lucky at the Supreme Court

The justices were poised to overturn a 39-year-old compromise on dues. Then Scalia died.

Catching a break.

Photographer: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

This was supposed to be the year when the Supreme Court would deal a major blow to labor unions, reversing a 1977 precedent that says nonunion members can be required to make payments in lieu of dues to the union. In 2014, the court came close to doing exactly that in a 5-to-4 opinion that telegraphed its intention to do so in the near future.

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