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THE NOONER for July 1, 2015





Good morning and happy new (fiscal) year! Thank you for putting up with the last couple of weeks of promotion about paid Nooner subscriptions.

WWKD? The case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, challenging "fair share" fees for unions of non-members within a collective bargaining unit, will be one of the most watched cases of the term beginning October 2015. And, the case likely comes down to one Sacramentan, Anthony Kennedy.

CTA won in both the district court and the Ninth Circuit (summary judgement), which relied on the 1977 case of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. However, the grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court means there were at least four justices interested in reviewing the case. While we don't know if Kennedy voted in conference to hear the case, we assume that Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas voted to grant. 

The sky is cloudy for public employee unions. In the last term, the Court held in Harris v. Quinn that local home health aides were not compelled to join SEIU. The decision found "If we accepted Illinois' argument, we would approve an unprecedented violation of the bedrock principle that, except perhaps in the rarest of circumstances, no person in this country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support."

Kennedy sided with the four conservative justices in the 5-4 decision. However, the decision seemed more to rely on the independance of the home health aides (and thus not public employees, rather than the fair share fee issue. However, in the majority opinion, there are hints that the Court is prepared to eliminate the differential between public and private employees, with Alito writing "The differences between public- and private-sector collective bargaining simply do not translate into differences in First Amendment right."

Interestingly, although Harris was decided in between the district court and Ninth Circuit rulings, the Ninth Circuit summarily affirmed the district court ruling without citing or discussion the Harris ruling.

Should the Court reverse the Ninth Circuit in favor of the petitioners, the impact is on California's unions is unclear. However, maintaining the non-political infrastructure without "fair share" or "agency" fees, will be difficult, and funds currently available for political activities may need to be diverted. As the largest contributors to Democratic politicians and interests, this could be very bad news for them.

And, yes, Kennedy voted with the 5-4 majority in Harris v. Quinn . . .

More after the jump.



UNCLE LELAND: Ex-Sen. Leland Yee may be headed for a plea deal [Bob Egelko @ SFChron] - "A federal judge has calendared change-of-plea hearings for Yee and three co-defendants who had been scheduled to go to trial Aug. 10. Such hearings are held to enable criminal defendants to plead guilty, usually after negotiations with the prosecutor."

SD11 (San Francisco): SF supervisor Scott Wiener (D) will announce today for a 2016 campaign to succeed Mark Leno (D). The more liberal block of "progressives" are waiting to see if Tom Ammiano (D) runs, with alternatives being David Campos (D) or Jane Kim (D). Leno has endorsed Wiener.

THE VAX: Jerry Brown signs California vaccine bill [David Siders, Alexei Koseff and Jeremy B. White @ SacBee] - "Despite passionate opposition to the bill, a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California this month found support for mandatory vaccines from 67 percent of California adults and 65 percent of public school parents."

POTHOLES! Gov. Brown faces rough road in quest to repair state freeways [Chris Megerian @ LAT] - "As Brown considers the future of California's roads, he faces a political and financial landscape much different from the one his father inhabited. When Pat Brown was governor in the 1950s and '60s, the state was benefiting from a flood of money from Washington for new roads for a growing number of Californians."

SPEAKING OF POT: Beginning today, it is legal to grow and possess limited amounts of marijuana in Oregon.

CONGRATULATIONS! the USA women's soccer team, which beat Germany 2-0 yesterday, advancing to the finals. That game is Sunday at 4pm, and the Americans will face either England or Japan.

#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for Denise Ng and John Stratman!


CalPERS To Sell Up To $3 Billion In Real Estate | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler @
Pension fund continues to reshape portfolio

Political Fate Of California Teachers Association Now Rests With High Court | Faultlines | Kqed News
For a union that has defeated almost every challenger on the playing field of state politics for more than two decades, the California Teachers Association’s most powerful opponent may turn out to be what Justice Antonin Scalia recently described as “a committee of nine unelected lawyers.”

Excessive Water Use Tax Of Up To 300%?
By Josh Richman Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 at 3:51 pm in Bob Wieckowski, California State Senate, water.

Jerry Brown Signs California Vaccine Bill | The Sacramento Bee
David Siders @
Law eliminates religious and personal belief exemptions for vaccines

Supreme Court To Hear California Teacher's Suit -- A 'life Or Death' Case For Unions
The Supreme Court put public-sector unions in its crosshairs Tuesday by agreeing to hear a constitutional attack on the mandatory representation fees that nearly all California teachers pay.

This Time, Jerry Brown Makes No Mention Of Religion In Vaccine Signing | The Sacramento Bee
David Siders @
California governor made special case for religious exemptions in 2012

Legislators Clear Plan To Rename Marin Tunnel For Robin Williams
Mark Prado The Marin Independent Journal @
The state Senate on Thursday approved the resolution introduced by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, to change the name of the Waldo Tunnel. The state Assembly took the same action in April. Because it is a resolution, the change doesn't need a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown.

California Paid Sick Leave, Fracking, Phone Kill-switch Laws Take Effect | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
California employers must pay ill workers at least three days a year

Resisting Vaccination Has Long History | State Of Health | Kqed News
California is on the brink of enacting a law that would require nearly all children to be vaccinated in order to attend school. While the bill has passed the Legislature, public health officials have had to grapple with a strong, vocal opposition along the way.

Paid Sick Leave, Lead Ammo, Smartphones Affected By New Laws - San Francisco Chronicle
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France's Toxic Mix Of Demographics, Terrorism And A Presidential Election
If you think immigration is a poisonous issue in American politics, spare a moment of sympathy for France, where demographics, terrorism and a presidential election have collided to produce a truly toxic mix.

President Obama Wants Fast-food, Retail Managers To Earn Overtime
Today's high

From Death Threats To Holocaust Warning, California Vaccine Bill An Extraordinary Fight | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
Senate Bill 277 requires vaccines for schoolchildren

Tax On Gas To Drop 6 Cents |
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High Court Case Hits Union Dues | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
Orange County teacher challenges California Teachers Association

Former Metrolink Auditor Alleges She Was Fired For Disclosing Railroad's Problems
Allegations in a new lawsuit by a former top watchdog at Southern California's Metrolink commuter railroad paint an alarming picture of the operation's management problems and internal politics.

Mayor, Kings Owner In Court For Downtown Arena Lawsuit -
The mayor of Sacramento and the majority owner of the Sacramento Kings were in court Tuesday. The city and the team are the defendants in a lawsuit that claims city assets worth as much as $500 million were given to the team as part of a deal to build an arena.According to Mayor Kevin Johnson the assets are worth little today and are a small part of the $258 million the city pledged to the arena project.

Politicians On Tv: The Best Cameos From Washington - Photos - Politico
Speaker of the House Thomas "Tip" O'Neill played himself in the 1983 episode of "Cheers" called "No Contest."

New School Board Members Face Immediate Challenges
Two new members will join the Los Angeles Board of Education on Wednesday amid shifting political alliances and a pressing need to choose a superintendent of schools.

Redistricting litigation persists in key states despite court ruling
Continued redistricting litigation could allow Democrats to make a dent in the GOP's near-historic House majority in next year's elections.

Jeb Bush Releases 33 Years Of Tax Returns As Part Of Campaign
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made $7.4 million during 2013 and paid about 40% in taxes, according to his tax return, part of a disclosure of 33 years of tax information released Tuesday by his presidential campaign.

First Draft: President Forced to Watch Marriage-Ruling Celebrations on TV
President Obama expressed wistful regret that he was not able to celebrate with the crowds outside of the White House that had gathered hours after the Supreme Court struck down limits on same-sex marriage.

L.A. Councilman Takes Rare Step In Bid To Expedite Proposed Gun-lock Law
The battle over a city proposal to require Los Angeles residents to lock up or disable their handguns at home took an unusual turn Tuesday, as a city councilman sought to force the proposed law out of a committee weighing whether to exempt some Angelenos from the storage rules.