By Kelly Puente
Jan. 26, 2015 – Updated 4:25 p.m.

A group of California public school teachers petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to hear a case that would decide whether public employees should be required to pay union dues.

Orange County teacher Rebecca Friedrichs and nine other educators sued the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association in 2013 claiming a state law that forces public employees to pay annual union dues is a violation of their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit aims to strike down compulsory union dues laws in 26 states.

The case, called Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, was put on the fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in November ruled that it does not have the authority to overturn past Supreme Court rulings.

Attorneys for the Center for Individual Rights, a nonprofit public-interest firm representing the plaintiffs, filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take on the case. In a statement released Monday, the group said it is hopeful the high court will take on the case this year.

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