Janus v. AFSCME: Liner Notes Plus

I have a new column up at The Federalist on the Supreme Court’s opinion in Janus v AFSCME.  It’s mostly an explainer, I wrote over lunch yesterday when it might have been needed on a “breaking news” basis —  but Justice Kennedy’s retirement moved it to today.  That said, people (esp. non-lawyers) interested in walking through what the Court actually decided may find this useful; the media has already told you about the political fallout (though I have attached some numbers to that piece of the story also).

Given the circumstances, there really wasn’t much that got cut for space.  I could have expanded on the conclusion, which addresses how the Court found itself addressing the remarkably timely issue of compelled speech.  Ed Morrissey and Guy Benson have both expanded on this aspect and are both worth reading.  Whatever you might say about the retiring Justice Kennedy, his legacy beyond same-sex marriage will be mostly about freedom of speech.  The dissenting liberals in Janus seem upset that upholding the First Amendment may get in the way of progressives’ economic and regulatory agenda, but that’s because freedom of speech (and relatedly freedom of religion) are the core freedom on which America is based, the one we most need the Second Amendment to protect.