by Steven Ertelt
June 25, 2007
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — An Ohio teacher is delighted following a federal district court ruling that requiring her to pay dues to the National Education Association is a violation of her First Amendment Rights. She sued to stop being forced to fund the organization because her money would be used to promote abortion.
The Ohio affiliate of the national group told Carol Katter she could only be exempt from paying union dues if she changed religions.
Katter, a mathematics and language arts instructor in the St. Mary’s district, had requested and exemption after learning her dues would promote abortion.
"I know where NEA money goes, and I knew I never wanted to be part of that," she told CNS News at the time.
Katter indicated she was told her dues could go to a charity but OEA officials eventually told her they couldn’t disseminate her dues elsewhere because she couldn’t prove that her Catholic faith went against her membership in the union.
She filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Columbus in January over an Ohio law that prevents her from diverting her union dues somewhere else. The law only allows members of the Seventh-Day Adventist and Mennonite churches, which have historic anti-union religious views, to object to paying the dues.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost struck down the law as a violation of the First Amendment.
Forst also ruled that the State Employment Relations Board could not enforce the law
"It’s wonderful, just wonderful," Katter told CNS News about her victory.
She told the conservative news site that she was "really excited" about the ruling and that it was "absolutely worth the struggle."
The National Right to Work Foundation helped Katter with her lawsuit and Stefan Gleason, the NRWF’s vice president, praised the judge’s ruling as "a victory for employee rights and the freedom of conscience."