America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
When Finally Given Choice, Workers Abandon Unions Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, December 05 2019
According to the four leftist justices on the Supreme Court, however, that newfound freedom should never have arrived. In their view, it’s perfectly fine and constitutional to compel people to belong to or subsidize partisan organizations that they don’t wish to join, First Amendment be damned.

Leftists delight in labeling themselves "pro-choice," but experience betrays the perversity of that claim. 

Across the broad spectrum of modern life, they’re far more often pro-compulsion, not pro-choice. 

Many of them can’t seem to run their own lives well, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to run yours.  The political left’s raison d’etre remains controlling other people in more and more realms of modern life. 

As obvious examples, leftists want to dictate what firearms you can possess, if you can possess them at all.  They want to dictate where your children can attend school.  They want to dictate what ever-higher levels of your income must be taxed to feed larger and larger government.  They want to dictate what speech is acceptable, whether on college campuses or during political campaigns.  They want to dictate what car you can drive.  They want to dictate what doctor you can visit, and which health insurance you can choose. 

In the case of so-called “moderate” new Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, they want to dictate the soft drink size you can choose. 

And until the United States Supreme Court finally intervened, they wanted to dictate whether you must belong to a labor union, or share a portion of your earnings even if you weren’t a member, so that those unions can support leftist candidates and causes you steadfastly oppose. 

Last year in Janus v. AFSCME, Illinois government employee Mark Janus had declined to join his workplace union because he opposed its political activities and collective bargaining demands.  Illinois law at the time, however, required even non-members to pay what are known as “agency fees” to the subject union, under the false rationale that they compensated the union for collective bargaining activities on behalf of all employees.  In Mr. Janus’s case, those non-member agency fees amounted to fully 80% of regular union members’ dues. 

As bizarre and indefensible as that sounds, the 1977 Supreme Court ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education upheld that scenario.  Consequently, Mr. Janus’s lawsuit was dismissed by the lower courts. 

In Janus last year, however, the Supreme Court rightfully overruled Abood on First Amendment freedom of speech and freedom of association grounds: 

Abood’s holding is inconsistent with standard First Amendment principles.  Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable raises serious First Amendment concerns.  That includes compelling a person to subsidize the speech of other private speakers. 

In the wake of Janus, public-sector unions can no longer compel non-member workers to continue paying fees from their paychecks that the unions in turn spend on leftist political activities and candidates.  In essence, that introduces right-to-work freedom for public-sector employees across nearly half of all U.S. states that aren’t already right-to-work by statute, as workers can now opt out of paying union dues or fees. 

Just one year later, The Wall Street Journal reports that the consequences for labor unions has already proven dire: 

Some public-workers unions are experiencing steep losses of members and fees, declines largely triggered by a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that gave members an out…  The American Federation of Teachers reported that it added 6,800 new members but lost 83,000 fee payers in the year ended in June, compared with the prior year.  The union, which has 1.7 million members, received $18 million less in dues, a 9% decline, compared with the prior year. 

Ouch.  And that’s just the first year post-Janus

The story details similar declines in other public-sector unions across the nation, with thousands of workers and millions of dollars suddenly not subsidizing those unions’ political activities. 

According to the four leftist justices on the Supreme Court, however, that newfound freedom should never have arrived.  In their view, it’s perfectly fine and constitutional to compel people to belong to or subsidize partisan organizations that they don’t wish to join, First Amendment be damned. 

That highlights once again the critical role of judicial appointments, and the precariousness of many freedoms that seem straightforward by any fair reading of the Constitution’s text. 

It also serves to highlight how the self-proclaimed “pro-choice” political left is typically anything but. 

Question of the Week   
John Adams, then-delegate to the Continental Congress and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, said this “… will be the most memorable in the history of America …” with regard to which historic day?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Never before has a speech extolling America's virtues and the marvels or the nation's heroes played to such poor -- and completely dishonest -- reviews.At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America -- its Founders, its ideals and freedom, its capacity for self-renewal, its astonishing variety of geniuses, adventurers…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

Has Covid-19 significantly changed your family's typical July 4th weekend activities or are they essentially the same as in previous years?