To call this litigation pathway unusual is an understatement. But it was hardly a shot in the dark. In majority opinions in 2012 and again in 2014, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. — yes, the same Justice Alito who signed Justice Breyer’s opinion back in 2009 — suggested that he was ready and willing to revisit the Abood precedent. In the more recent case, Harris v. Quinn, he called Abood “troubling” and “questionable on several grounds.” But neither of those two cases offered a target for a direct hit. The current case was manufactured to serve that role.
Much to do with politics, me thinks. The law be damned.
The Center for Individual Rights is embedded in the world of prominent conservative political donors as well, having received large contributions from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, according to filings with the Internal Revenue Service.
Many of the center’s donors contribute to other groups that have been active in trying to curtail union activity. The Bradley Foundation’s president, Michael Grebe, has been one of the most important supporters for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. The foundation has given millions to the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a think tank closely aligned with Mr. Walker, who helped roll back public unions’ collective bargaining rights after taking office in 2011.