RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina Association of Educators has won a case that challenged the constitutionality of a law banning payroll dues deductions for its members. The NCAE was represented by Poyner Spruill attorneys Bob Orr
and Drew Erteschik
In January 2012, the General Assembly enacted a law preventing members of the NCAE from having their dues deducted automatically from their paychecks. The NCAE immediately filed suit on the grounds that the new law was unconstitutional, obtaining a temporary restraining order blocking the law. Then, in May 2012, after extensive briefing and argument, the NCAE secured a preliminary injunction from the Wake County Superior Court, which further prohibited the law from being enforced during the pendency of the case. In December 2012, the NCAE filed a motion asking the Court to rule on the merits of its claim for retaliatory viewpoint discrimination.
In a written Order
received by the NCAE on December 31, 2012, the Court held that the dues deduction law “is permanently enjoined because it constitutes retaliatory viewpoint discrimination” in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the North Carolina Constitution. The Court in its Order agreed with the NCAE’s legal arguments that by enacting a law targeting the NCAE in retaliation for its perceived political viewpoint, the law violated the free speech rights of the NCAE and its members.
“We are delighted that we could prevail on behalf of our clients on the important constitutional issues raised by this case,” said Bob Orr, a former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice.