Statement from Clerk David Orr on the Supreme Court's Janus Decision

Clerk David Orr
June 29, 2018
Statement from the Clerk

This week’s ruling by the Supreme Court in Janus is a shameful attack on workers that will make it even more difficult for many Americans to climb into the middle class. It is chilling that the justices in the majority are hiding behind the First Amendment to do so.

Wealthy corporations interested only in their profit margins have the financial and political power to lobby for their interests. Unions have provided critically needed advocacy to make sure workers are paid decently, treated fairly, have access to healthcare and retire in dignity. 

As the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “In a country where workers’ wages have remained largely flat for more than three decades, even as company shareholder dividends and executive paychecks have soared, collective bargaining by organized labor remains one of the few checks on dangerously growing income inequality.” Fair share contributions ensure that workers who benefit from collective bargaining—through higher wages, benefits and retirement—contribute to that representation.

This is essentially the same Supreme Court that also ruled corporations are people and are free to express themselves with unlimited political campaign contributions. At every turn, the conservative justices of the Supreme Court have unleashed the power of money and special interests to shape public policy, while effectively and brazenly silencing the voice of ordinary Americans and workers.

David Orr,
Cook County Clerk