In its decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week Randy Boudreaux does not have to pay dues to be a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association. The ruling sends the case back to a federal judge for further action, according to an Associated Press story.
There is the possibility Boudreaux and others could be required to pay membership dues if the LSBA ends its non-germane actions and sticks to legal issues, the AP said.
Boudreaux sued because the LSBA was using his dues to promote “Pride Month,” to demand student loan forgiveness, and to offer “wellness” advice involving the health benefits of walnuts.
"Mr. Boudreaux had had enough of it," Scott Day Freeman, an attorney at the Goldwater Institute, says of its frustrated client.
None of those issues are “germane” to the law, Boudreaux argued in his lawsuit, an argument the three-judge panel agreed with.
A Louisiana-based law firm, Pelican Institute, also represented Boudreaux along with Goldwater.
The appeals court's decision reversed a lower court ruling that had sided with LSBA.
According to Freeman, the Louisiana bar can ask for an en banc hearing in front of all the 5th Circuit judges after losing to Boudreaux and his appeal.
“Or they could file a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court and ask them to look at it," says Freeman. "But those are all discretionary, meaning the Fifth Circuit does not have to hear it en banc and the U.S. Supreme Court does not have to hear the case."
With legal help from the Goldwater Institute, there are currently numerous other challenges to state bar association dues across the country, including in Oregon and Oklahoma.