Judge Andrew Napolitano said Wednesday the Supreme Court dealt a "catastrophic" blow to the nation's labor unions and the Democratic Party when it ruled 5-4 that state government workers cannot be forced to pay fees to support collective bargaining and other union activities.

While the current case applies only to public-sector employees, the political and financial stakes are potentially huge for the broader American labor union movement, which had been sounding the alarm about the legal fight.

The unions say five million government employees in 24 states and the District of Columbia would be affected by this ruling, Bill Mears reported on FoxNews.com

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Napolitano said the ruling is "catastrophic" for unions financially and also "catastrophic" for the Democratic Party, since union leaders tend to support the party while rank-and-file union workers trend toward the GOP. 

The Fox News senior judicial analyst said the collection of fees is the "principle reason" that public sector unions have survived for 100 years. Without the fees, he said the unions will have to offer benefits so people will voluntarily join and the unions may not have the financial strength to do so. 

The plaintiff, Illinois state employee Mark Janus, is required to pay about $550 annually to a union, AFSCME. He filed suit claiming the requirement is a violation of his constitutional rights.

Watch the judge's instant analysis above.

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