At the end of June in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees the Supreme Court ruled that “The State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public- sector employees violates the First Amendment…. Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable” is a form of “compelled speech” that the First Amendment prohibits.
Perhaps someone should bring to the Court’s attention UCLA’s Student Services Fee and its requirement that every student pay $1128 per year, or $4512 over the course of four years. This fee no doubt covers many worthwhile activities, but one of its funded projects is strongly opposed by some students. As Campus Reform points out, “The University of California-Los Angeles has hired 18 students at $13 per hour to combat ‘social injustices’ and ‘privilege and oppression’ following a semester-long recruitment campaign.”
According to the job application, each DPL [“Diversity Peer Leader”] is paid $13 an hour in exchange for working 30-45 hours during each of UCLA’s four academic quarters, including summer.
If all students put in just 30 hours per quarter, the program would cost at least $28,080 annually, but if all the DPLs were to work the maximum hours, the cost would rise to at least $42,120 per year.
Mark Janus, the Illinois public employee who objected to forced contributions to AFSCME, would no doubt have something valuable to say about UCLA’s version of compelled speech.