During oral argument, Justice Alito expressed views against public unionism in general.  In questioning respondents’ attorney Paul Smith, Justice Alito stated that he did not understand “why the union’s participation in this is essential.”  He said that if the state wants to raise the workers’ wages or give them extra benefits, it would do so.  Justice Alito drew an analogy to teachers’ unions, asking why a teacher who supports a merit-based payment system should be forced to pay dues for representation to a union that, for example, does not support merit pay.  Smith responded that “the law requires the union to look after that teacher and make sure that they get treated equally,” and invited the Court to imagine what a world without public unions would look like.