Democratic Attorneys General Association Issues Statement from 20 Democratic AGs on Janus v. AFSCME Council 31
June 27, 2018
Statement Issued By Attorneys General in CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IA, IL, KY, MA, ME, MN, NC, NM, NY, OR, PA, RI, VA, VT, and WA
Washington, D.C.—The Democratic Attorneys General Association (@DemocraticAGs) released the following statement from 20 Democratic Attorneys General led by co-chairs District of Columbia AG Karl Racine and Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. The case involved public employees paying fees to support the cost of critical representation during collective bargaining. These union fees, along with member dues, are used to represent all employees – both union and non-union employees.
“The Supreme Court decision today disregards decades of precedent regarding collective bargaining. The Janus ruling undermines unions at a time when more protections for working people and middle-class families are needed, not fewer.”
“Public employees, whether union or non-union, benefit from representation at the bargaining table. It’s fair and reasonable that all who benefit from that collective bargaining share some of the costs.”
“Our teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, and other public employees – often underpaid and whose pensions are being attacked politically – provide vital services that benefit all of our communities.”
“The decision today only reinforces our resolve. We, Democratic Attorneys General, are proud to stand with working people and middle-class families. We understand and appreciate the crucial role unions and collective bargaining play in our democracy and our economy. As the Peoples’ Lawyers, we are committed to ensuring working people can join together to fight for fair and livable wages, workplace safety, pensions, paid sick days, health-care services, and other important protections. We will continue this work.”
States that signed on include California AG Xavier Becerra, Connecticut AG George Jepsen, Delaware AG Matt Denn, District of Columbia AG Karl Racine, Hawaii AG Russell Suzuki, Illinois AG Lisa Madigan, Iowa AG Tom Miller, Kentucky AG Andy Beshear, Maine AG Janet Mills, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, Minnesota AG Lori Swanson, New Mexico AG Hector Balderas, New York AG Barbara Underwood, North Carolina AG Josh Stein, Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum, Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, Rhode Island AG Peter Kilmartin, Vermont AG TJ Donovan, Virginia AG Mark Herring, and Washington AG Bob Ferguson.
Additional background on Democratic Attorneys General work on Janus:
- Illinois AG Lisa Madigan is named in the complaint in this case, and Madigan filed a brief opposing the court taking up the case in the first place.
- California AG Xavier Becerra wrote a relevant op-ed for the San Diego Union-Tribune: Why Supreme Court case critical to future health of California.
- Earlier this year, the New York Attorney General’s Office led an amicus brief in Janus v. AFSCME signed by 21 Democratic AGs urging SCOTUS to follow precedent allowing states to manage labor relations.