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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
January 12, 1989, Argued ; August 28, 1989, Decided
[*1252] CHAPMAN, Circuit Judge
This case involves a challenge by plaintiffs/appellees, the South Carolina Education Association [**3] and various members of that organization (hereinafter collectively referred to as "SCEA"), to a statutory arrangement 1 they allege was designed specifically to deny the SCEA payroll deduction benefits and thereby impair the effectiveness of the association. In October 1987, the SCEA filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against John T. Campbell, Secretary of State for South Carolina; Carroll Campbell, Governor of South Carolina; and Earle Morris, Comptroller General of South Carolina, all acting in their official capacities. The SCEA asserted that it had been deprived of First and Fourteenth Amendment rights under these state laws.
The series of events giving rise to this action began in May 1979 when the Attorney General of South Carolina issued a nonbinding opinion that no public body could provide voluntary payroll deductions [*1253] without statutory authorization. In 1981 the South Carolina General Assembly enacted [**4] facially neutral legislation which authorized payroll deductions for contributions to charitable organizations 2 but declined to authorize payroll deductions for membership dues to labor organizations or groups which forward the proceeds of deductions to such organizations. Among the groups denied payroll deductions under this legislation was the SCEA.
[**5] In 1987, the General Assembly passed permanent legislation, following two years of temporary legislation adopted in 1985 and 1986, authorizing payroll deductions for membership dues to the South Carolina State Employees Association ("State Employees Association"). 3 The SCEA characterizes the State Employees Association as a "similarly situated" but "less controversial" organization than the SCEA. The differential treatment as to the statutory authorization for payroll deductions, the SCEA contends, arises from the General Assembly's disdain for the content of the SCEA's speech-related activities and its association with the National Education Association ("NEA"). The district court held that by permitting payroll deductions for payment of dues to the State Employees Association but denying the same service to the SCEA the General Assembly violated the SCEA's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court did not nullify the state law, but in effect rewrote it by ordering the state and all school districts to extend payroll deductions to the SCEA and its members.
[**6] We find the district court's extensive reliance on the testimony of individual members of the General Assembly as to legislative motive an improper intrusion into the legislative function, and the challenged legislation rationally related to legitimate state interests and does not violate either [*1254] the First or Fourteenth Amendments. Therefore, we reverse.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
883 F.2d 1251 *; 1989 U.S. App. LEXIS 12938 **; 132 L.R.R.M. 2288
THE SOUTH CAROLINA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, ET AL.; NELLE H. TAYLOR, BETTY JANE CUNNINGHAM; MICHAEL T. HOLLIFIELD, Plaintiffs-Appellees v. JOHN T. CAMPBELL, In his Official Capacity as Secretary of State of South Carolina; CARROLL CAMPBELL, In his Official Capacity as Governor of the State of South Carolina; EARLE MORRIS, In his Official Capacity as Comptroller General of the State of South Carolina; Defendants-Appellants; THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION; SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION, INC.; RICHLAND COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER ONE, SPARTANBURG COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER THREE, ORANGEBURG COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER FIVE, MARLBORO COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND DR. JAMES M. BROWN, SUPERINTENDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE OCONEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Amici Curiae
Subsequent History: [**1] As Corrected, October 6, 1989. Rehearing and Rehearing In Banc Denied, October 18, 1989. Reported at 1989 U.S. App. LEXIS 16945.
Prior History: Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Columbia. Matthew J. Perry, Jr., District Judge. CA-87-2838.
payroll deduction, motive, state employee, district court, deductions, rights, professional association, authorize, organizations, regulation, withholding, free speech, employees, impair, statutory authorization, challenged legislation, membership dues, paychecks, cases, school district, suppression, benefits, courts, speech-related, impermissible, membership, enacting, facially, lobbying
Tax Law, Deductions, Charitable Deductions, General Overview, Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Protected Activities, Wage & Hour Laws, Scope & Definitions, Governmental Employees, Unfair Labor Practices, Constitutional Law, Bill of Rights, Fundamental Freedoms, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Speech, Public Employees, Equal Protection, Gender & Sex, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Scope