>> Dueling groups of protestors rallied outside the US Supreme Court on Monday. While inside, the Justices heard arguments in a high stakes case that could deprive American unions of a key source of funding.>>
>> The case concerns the right of public sector unions, representing teachers, firefighters, and police officers, to collect millions of dollars in fees for non-members.
A lawsuit brought by anti-union groups supporting Illinois state worker, Mark Janus, argues that forcing him to pay union dues is an infringement on his first amendment rights.>> The fundamental issue is my right to choice. The fundamental issue is that with my very first paycheck, I had a fee come out of my paycheck and I had to pay the fee, nobody asked me.
>> The State of Illinois is defending its law, allowing unions to collect so called agency fees. Union groups say these fees are required to deal with what they call free riders. Non-union members, such as Janus, who benefit from union representation without actually paying for it.>> This is a case where there are a small group of very well-funded right wing extremists that wanna eliminate unions throughout this country.
>> Reuter's correspondent Lawrence Harley covers the Supreme Court.>> It looks like the Court's conservative majority will vote against the unions, possibly a five to four ruling with the Court's four liberals in dissent. One thing that wasn't clear is where exactly Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's appointee to the Court stands, because he didn't actually say anything during the one-hour oral argument.
But based on his record as a conservative Judge, it looks like he would be that deciding vote for the conservative majority and against the Union's.>> The Court is expected to announce its decision in June.