SACRAMENTO — The Pacific Research Institute says Wednesday's landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME will mean different things to different people in California.
Mark Janus, child support specialist for the state government in Illinois, argued in his suit that forcing government workers to pay union fees violated their First Amendment Rights.
As a result of his victory, public sector employees will now have to opt in if they want to be part of a union, instead of opting out.
Kerry Jackson, a fellow with Pacific Research Institute, said different public sector employees will have varying feelings about the ruling.
"It's going to mean different things for different employees," Jackson said in an interview with the Northern California Record. "For some, it's freedom. They are going to be free now to not have to pay for politics that they don't want to pay for."
Jackson said for others, they may be affected because union dues might go up, but that's something he isn't sure about.
"I don't know," he said. "That's something the unions are going to have to decide on I suppose if they're going to be losing revenue from the agency fees."
Jackson said the ruling will also make a lot of people happy.
"They have had it with their unions and the unions taking their money and spending it on politics that they don't agree with," Jackson said. "They are going to be celebrating what is their First Amendment right."
California Public Employees' Retirement System manages benefits for approximately 1.6 million public sector employees in California, according to its website.
The Supreme Court made it's ruling Wednesday after hearing arguments in February. Justice Samuel Alito authored the majority opinion. The court ruled 5-4 with Janus.
Pat Hughes, attorney and co-founder of Liberty Justice Center, represented Janus, along with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.