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(b) Abood cannot be distinguished on the ground that the compelled association in the context of labor unions serves only a private economic interest in collective bargaining while the Bar serves more substantial public interests. In fact, the legislative recognition that the agencyshop arrangements serve vital national interests in preserving industrial peace indicates that they serve a substantial public interest as well. It is not possible to determine that the Bar's interests outweigh these other interests sufficiently to produce a different result here. P. 13.
(c) The guiding standard for determining permissible Bar expenditures relating to political or ideological activities is whether the challenged expenditures are necessarily or reasonably incurred for the purpose of regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of legal services. Precisely where the line falls between permissible and impermissible dues-financed activities will not always be easy to discern. But the extreme ends of the spectrum are clear: Compulsory dues may not be used to endorse or advance a gun control or nuclear weapons freeze initiative, but may be spent on activities connected with disciplining Bar members or proposing the profession's ethical codes. Pp. 13-16.
(d) Since the Bar is already required to submit detailed budgets to the state legislature before obtaining approval to set annual dues, the State Supreme Court's assumption that complying with Abood would create an extraordinary burden for the Bar is unpersuasive. Any burden that might result is insufficient to justify contravention of a constitutional mandate, and unions have operated successfully within the boundaries of Abood procedures for over a decade. An integrated bar could meet its Abood obligation by adopting the sort of procedures described in Teachers v. Hudson, 475 U. S. 292. Questions whether alternative procedures would also satisfy the obligation should be left for consideration upon a more fully developed record. Pp. 16–17.
2. Petitioners' freedom of association claim based on the State Bar's use of its name to advance political and ideological causes or beliefs will
not be addressed by this Court in the first instance. P. 17. 47 Cal. 3d 1152, 767 P. 2d 1020, reversed and remanded.
REHNQUIST, C. J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
Anthony T. Caso argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were Ronald A. Zumbrun and John H. Findley.
Seth M. Hufstedler argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Robert S. Thompson, Laurie D.
Zelon, Judith R. Starr, Herbert M. Rosenthal, and Diane Yu.*
CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioners, members of respondent State Bar of California, sued that body, claiming its use of their membership dues to finance certain ideological or political activities to which they were opposed violated their rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court of California rejected this challenge on the grounds that the State Bar is a state agency and, as such, may use the dues for any purpose within its broad statutory authority. We agree that lawyers admitted to practice in the State may be required to join and pay dues to the State Bar, but disagree as to the scope of permissible dues-financed activities in which the State Bar may engage.
The State Bar is an organization created under California law to regulate the State's legal profession.' It is
*Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the Ad Hoc Committee Opposing Lobbying and Certain Other Activities of a Mandatory Bar by James J. Bierbower; for the American Civil Liberties Union by Steven R. Shapiro and John A. Powell; for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation by Edwin Vieira; for the Washington Legal Foundation et al. by Daniel J. Popeo, Paul D. Kamenar, and John C. Scully; for Robert E. Gibson by Herbert R. Kraft; for Trayton L. Lathrop, pro se; and for Joseph W. Little, pro se.
Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the American Bar Association by L. Stanley Chauvin, Jr., Carter G. Phillips, and Mark D. Hopson; for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations by Marsha S. Berzon and Laurence Gold; for the Beverly Hills Bar Association et al. by Ellis J. Horvitz and Peter Abrahams; for the California Legislature by Bion M. Gregory; for the Lawyers' Committee for the Administration of Justice by James J. Brosnahan; for the State Bar of Michigan et al. by Michael Franck and Michael J. Karwoski; and for the State Bar of Wisconsin et al. by John S. Skilton, Barry S. Richard, and Stephen L. Tober.
Steven Levine, pro se, filed a brief of amicus curiae.
The State Bar's Board of Governors is also a respondent in this action. Accordingly, the terms “respondent” or “State Bar” will refer either to the
an entity commonly referred to as an "integrated bar” —an association of attorneys in which membership and dues are required as a condition of practicing law in a State. Respondent's broad statutory mission is to “promote “the improvement of the administration of justice. 47 Cal. 3d 1152, 1156, 767 P. 2d 1020, 1021 (1989) (quoting Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Ann. $ 6031(a) (West Supp. 1990)). The association performs a variety of functions such as “examining applicants for admission, formulating rules of professional conduct, disciplining members for misconduct, preventing unlawful practice of the law, and engaging in study and recommendation of changes in procedural law and improvement of the administration of justice.” 47 Cal. 3d, at 1159, 767 P. 2d, at 1023– 1024 (internal quotation marks omitted). Respondent also engages in a number of other activities which are the subject of the dispute in this case. “[T]he State Bar for many years has lobbied the Legislature and other governmental agencies, filed amicus curiae briefs in pending cases, held an annual conference of delegates at which issues of current interest are debated and resolutions approved, and engaged in a variety of education programs.” Id., at 1156, 767 P. 2d, at 1021-1022. These activities are financed principally through the use of membership dues.
Petitioners, 21 members of the State Bar, sued in state court claiming that through these activities respondent expends mandatory dues payments to advance political and ideological causes to which they do not subscribe.2 Assert
organization itself, or the organization and its governing board, as the context warrants.
2 Some of the particular activities challenged by petitioners were described in the complaint as follows:
(1) Lobbying for or against state legislation prohibiting state and local agency employers from requiring employees to take polygraph tests; prohibiting possession of armor-piercing handgun ammunition; creating an unlimited right of action to sue anybody causing air pollution; creating criminal sanctions for violation of laws pertaining to the display for sale of drug paraphernalia to minors; limiting the right to individualized education programs for students in need of special education; creating an unlimited
ing that their compelled financial support of such activities violates their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association, petitioners requested, inter alia, an injunction restraining respondent from using mandatory bar dues or the name of the State Bar to advance political and ideological causes or beliefs. The trial court granted summary judgment to respondent on the grounds that it is a governmental agency and therefore permitted under the First Amendment to engage in the challenged activities. The California Court of Appeal reversed, holding that while respondent's regulatory activities were similar to those of a government agency, its “administration-of-justice” functions were more akin to the activities of a labor union. The court held that under our opinion in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U. S. 209 (1977), such activities “could be financed from mandatory dues only if the particular action in question served a state interest important enough to overcome the interference with dissenters' First Amendment rights.” 47 Cal. 3d, at 1159, 767 P. 2d, at 1023.
The Supreme Court of California reversed the Court of Appeal by a divided vote. The court reasoned that respond
exclusion from gift tax for gifts to pay for education tuition and medical care; providing that laws providing for the punishment of life imprisonment without parole shall apply to minors tried as adults and convicted of murder with a special circumstance; deleting the requirement that local government secure approval of the voters prior to constructing low-rent housing projects; requesting Congress to refrain from enacting a guest-worker program or from permitting the importation of workers from other countries;
(2) Filing amicus curiae briefs in cases involving the constitutionality of a victim's bill of rights; the power of a workers' compensation board to discipline attorneys; a requirement that attorney-public officials disclose names of clients; the disqualification of a law firm; and
(3) The adoption of resolutions by the Conference of Delegates endorsing a gun control initiative; disapproving the statements of a United States senatorial candidate regarding court review of a victim's bill of rights; endorsing a nuclear weapons freeze initiative; opposing federal legislation limiting federal-court jurisdiction over abortions, public school prayer, and busing. App. 9-13.
ent's status as a public corporation, as well as certain of its other characteristics, made it a “government agency.” It also expressed its belief that subjecting respondent's activities to First Amendment scrutiny would place an “extraordinary burden” on its mission to promote the administration of justice. Id., at 1161–1166, 767 P. 2d, at 1025–1028. The court distinguished other cases subjecting the expenditures of state bar associations to First Amendment scrutiny, see, e. g., Gibson v. The Florida Bar, 798 F. 2d 1564 (CA11 1986), on the grounds that none of the associations involved in those cases rested “upon a constitutional and statutory structure comparable to that of the California State Bar. None involves an extensive degree of legislative involvement and regulation.” 47 Cal. 3d, at 1167, 767 P. 2d, at 1029. The court concluded that “the State Bar, considered as a government agency, may use dues for any purpose within the scope of its statutory authority.” Id., at 1168, 767 P. 2d, at 1030. With the exception of certain election campaigning conducted by respondent and its president, the court found that all of respondent's challenged activities fell within its statutory authority. Id., at 1168–1173, 767 P. 2d, at 1030–1033. We granted certiorari, 493 U. S. 806 (1989), to consider petitioners' First Amendment claims. We now reverse and remand for further proceedings.
In Lathrop v. Donohue, 367 U. S. 820 (1961), a Wisconsin lawyer claimed that he could not constitutionally be compelled to join and financially support a state bar association which expressed opinions on, and attempted to influence, legislation. Six Members of this Court, relying on Railway Employes v. Hanson, 351 U. S. 225 (1956), rejected this claim.
“In our view the case presents a claim of impingement upon freedom of association no different from that which we decided in [Hanson). We there held that $2, Eleventh of the Railway Labor Act ... did not on its face