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How Justice Scalia’s Death May Affect Friedrichs Lawsuit Decision

How Justice Scalia’s Death May Affect Friedrichs Lawsuit Decision

Friedrichs v. the State of California and the California Teachers Association is expected be ruled on by the Supreme Court by June, but the ruling might be affected by the recent untimely death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

According to EdSource, Scalia’s death may mean victory for the CTA and other public-employee unions because he was expected to be the deciding vote -joining the four other conservative judges to make a 5-4 vote.

The vote would be in favor of "overturning Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a four-decades old Supreme Court decision that said that states could require all public employees to split the expenses of bargaining, known as’ agency’ or 'fair share’ fees,” said EdSource.

Rebecca Friedrichs and nine other non-union teachers are in the process of suing the CTA and other public employee unions for being forced to pay dues that “support bargaining decisions they disagree with,” in turn violating the First Amendment rights afforded to them by the Constitution.

Those who support fair-share fees believe that since public-employee unions must negotiate on the behalf of both union and non-union members, all employees must pay their fair share in negotiation expenses.

Those who are against it, like Friedrichs and her fellow plaintiffs, argue that they should not be held financially responsible for supporting bargaining they do not agree with; even with the intention to separate collective bargaining from the political sphere, they argue it is impossible to completely remove politics from the process.

"With the court’s ideological majority now in the balance, Scalia’s death has raised the stakes in November for unions and their opponents,” EdSource says, because the nomination of the Supreme Court Justice will likely fall into the hands of the candidate who wins the 2016 presidential election. 

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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