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In a unanimous 9-to-O decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Davenport v. Washington Education Association (2007), ruled that states do not violate the First Amendment in requiring public sector labor unions to obtain the formal permission of nonunion member employees before spending their fair-share or agency shop fees on politically related expenses, including campaigns and elections. Fair-share or agency shop fees refer to the mandatory collection of union dues or fees for employees who are not union members.

Facts of the Case

Davenport upheld a 1992 legislative provision, referred to as Section 760, from the state of Washington's Fair Campaign Practices Act. Section 760 states the following:

A labor organization may not use agency shop fees paid by an individual who is not a member of the organization ...

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