On June 1st, Judge Josephine L. Staton of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California denied CIR’s motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in Yohn v. CTA. Because the plaintiffs’ claims are foreclosed by Supreme Court precedent allowing unions to impose compulsory dues on non-union members, CIR’s motion argued that the District Court lacked authority to do anything other than enter judgment against the plaintiffs. The motion therefore asked the Court to enter judgment quickly, so that the case could move rapidly to the Supreme Court – the only body with the actual power to vindicate the First Amendment claims of Ryan Yohn and his co-plaintiffs.
In her ruling, Judge Staton recognized that her court does not have the power to overturn the Supreme Court precedent allowing compulsory dues. Nonetheless, she construed the plaintiffs’ allegations as setting forth claims that the unions are engaging in conduct that violates that existing precedent, and she held that the parties must engage in factual discovery regarding those issues.
Accordingly, the parties in Yohn will now commence the discovery process. This process will yield insights into the inner workings of the compulsory-dues regime in California.