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Keller v. State Bar of California

United States Supreme Court
496 U.S. 1 (1990)


Facts

Membership in the State Bar of California (State Bar) (defendant) is necessary for a lawyer to practice law in the state. The State Bar charged its members dues, and used those dues to advance political and ideological activities that often had nothing to do with the regulation of the legal profession. Keller, et al., members of the State Bar (plaintiffs), did not agree with ideology behind many of those activities and brought suit, alleging that the State Bar’s financing of political activities with compulsory dues violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court of California ruled in favor of the State Bar, finding that because the State Bar is a regulated state agency it may use its dues for anything within its statutory authority. The plaintiffs appealed and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

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