The 10 teachers named in the lawsuit are not members of union. But they still pay agency fees to the California Teachers Association, which they claim uses the money to lobby for political causes, allegedly violating the teachers’ First Amendment rights.

“The state is compelling the payment of dues to support beliefs with which our clients disagree,” said Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, a conservative legal group representing the teachers, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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In the past, teachers unions have lobbied for tax increases in order to maintain education funding. But some teachers — including the ones filing the suit — don’t always support higher taxes.

While it is technically possible for teachers to opt out of funding union political activity, the process is complicated and intimidating, said Pell.

“Union dues are fungible,” he said. “That accounting arrangement is susceptible to abuse and difficult to implement and a constitutional burden on the individual’s rights.”

The lawsuit names CTA, the National Education Association and local unions as defendants, according to the Associated Press.

Frank Wells, a spokesperson for CTA, derided the lawsuit as baseless.

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