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Knox v. Service Employees International Union, 10-1121

In a class action brought on behalf of nonunion employees who paid into a union's "Emergency Temporary Assessment to Build a Political Fight-Back Fund," alleging the union's violation of their First Amendment rights, the Ninth Circuit's decision in the union's favor, concluding that Teachers v. Hudson, 475 U. S. 292, 302–311, prescribed a balancing test under which the proper inquiry is whether the union's procedures reasonably accommodated the interests of the union, the employer, and the nonmember employees, is reversed where: 1) this case is not moot and a live controversy remains, even though the union offered a full refund to all class members after certiorari was granted; and 2) under the First Amendment, when a union imposes a special assessment or dues increase levied to meet expenses that were not disclosed when the regular assessment was set, it must provide a fresh notice and may not exact any funds from nonmembers without their affirmative consent.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 06/21/2012
  • Published 06/21/2012




  • United States Supreme Court