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AEA Wins Permanent Injunction Against Educator Gag Bill

April 2, 2013 – U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow granted the Arizona Education Association’s (AEA) request for a permanent injunction of Senate Bill (SB) 1365, a law that restricts the way educators pay their annual dues and contributions to their professional associations. Read summary judgment.

AEA obtained a preliminary injunction against SB 1365 in October of 2011 and was granted a permanent injunction on March 29, 2013, because the court agreed that SB 1365 constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The court found that SB 1365 places a discriminatory and unjustified burden on union speech. 

“It is critical that those who educate and serve our students be able to form a united voice from their collective commitment and expertise,” says AEA President Andrew F. Morrill. “The AEA is the voice of quality public education in Arizona, and we will defend the right of our members in expressing that voice.”

AEA, with other public unions, filed a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of SB 1365 in 2011. This bill, passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Governor Jan Brewer in April 2011, places restrictions on payroll deductions for specific labor unions, including AEA, but it excludes public safety employee unions and other entities from its requirements, and in doing so, SB 1365 favors the speech of one group of employees over the less favorable speech of others. Political observers believe this law was passed in response to AEA’s community organizing to fight funding cuts to public education and speak up for a fair and equitable tax structure.

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