Public unions prevail as split Supreme Court sinks Friedrichs suit

A landmark California case against state teachers unions’ mandatory dues collection fell victim to the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s absence from the Supreme Court — salvaging “a long-standing rule that requires about half of the nation’s teachers, transit workers and other public employees to pay a ‘fair share fee’ to support their union,” as the Los Angeles Times reported.

Friedrichs 1“Sidestepping a potentially radical change for public employee unions, a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to topple the ability of organized labor to continue to collect dues from government workers who oppose being forced to pay fees to cover collective bargaining costs,” the San Jose Mercury News noted. “In a one-line order, the Supreme Court handed down a 4-4 ruling that effectively let stand lower court decisions backing the California Teachers Association in the closely-watched case.”

“At a time when public employee unions are under political attack in states such as Wisconsin and New Jersey, the California clash was considered a crucial showdown for organized labor and its political wallet. California teachers who support their union’s political influence have been clearly worried about the outcome in the Supreme Court, where a number of conservative justices in recent years have expressed doubt about allowing states to require fees from reluctant nonunion members.”

Political shock waves

The result drew sighs of relief from Democrats and howls from Republicans. The two parties have grown increasingly polarized around the issue of public-sector unions, which Republicans have blamed for busting state budgets and funneling cash almost exclusively to Democrats. “The case involves only public-employee unions — not private workers — but those unions are the strongest segment of an organized labor movement that is increasingly tied to the Democratic Party. At the same time, Republican governors across the nation have become embroiled in high-profile battles with the public-employee unions in their states,” the Washington Post reported.

An uncertain future

The case had become a rallying point for state Republicans in search of a bright spot this election season. “Rebecca Friedrichs, the Orange County teacher who brought Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, received the county GOP’s Torch of Freedom award at the political group’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner at the Hilton Bayfront on Saturday,” as U-T San Diego reported.

Friedrichs, an Orange County public school teacher, “said she resigned from the California Teachers Association over differences but was still required to pay about $650 a year to cover bargaining costs,” according to Fox News. “In Abood, the court said public workers who choose not to join a union can be required to pay for bargaining costs if the fees don’t go toward political purposes.”

For their part, Democrats have claimed that anti-labor activists want nothing less than to render unions incapable of affording their basic function as collective bargainers. “Organized labor considered it the most vital Supreme Court case of the year, and one of a clutch of politically charged cases that puts the justices in the spotlight as the nation turns its attention to the elections of 2016,” the Post observed.

The split decision left labor law poised on a razor’s edge. Although the court “had raised doubts about the viability of the 1977 precedent, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education,” that authorized the “fair share fee,” “it stopped short of overturning it in two recent cases,” as Fox News noted. Now, court watchers have begun to doubt whether the justices who would alter or scrap the rule will ever be capable of cobbling together the five votes necessary to do so. President Obama, who has settled on a candidate to replace Justice Scalia, hopes to force the hand of Congressional Republicans this year and replace what had been a relatively reliable “conservative vote” on the court with a more liberal one.


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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 29 March, 2016, 09:56

    Comrade Poodle

    Ta Da

    Reply this comment
  2. Skippingdog
    Skippingdog 29 March, 2016, 10:23

    Antonin Scalia is still dead.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Is Great! Long live unions and American labor---- wet nursing your brat kids since 1776
    Ted Is Great! Long live unions and American labor---- wet nursing your brat kids since 1776 29 March, 2016, 10:44

    This lady is a classic— her husband makes good money— so she doesn’t depend on a good teaching salary to live—-soooooooo—-she is happy to screw all the other teachers by bringing her cock-a-maamy lawsuit!

    LMAO The Ted called this one a long time ago

    Doomer Defeat ™

    Reply this comment
  4. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 29 March, 2016, 12:21

    An important ruling, further isolating public schools from real performance standards and accountability. The push should now be to provide ALTERNATIVES to government schools.

    Charter schools are a good option, but a FULL education voucher option as they have in Sweden is a better choice. Indeed, CHOICE is the key.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted "Thomas Dewey" Steele 29 March, 2016, 13:30

      Ricardo— Because your comments are baseless, tjhey have no reliability and commentary such as yours regarding problems whose solutions are classically “over determined” — are just more of the same tea baggery nonsense.

      Reply this comment
    • SkippingDog
      SkippingDog 29 March, 2016, 19:56

      All this ruling does is to prevent scabs like Friedrichs from being free riders on the work and funding of others.

      Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 29 March, 2016, 12:55

    Need anymore reasons for Home Education(Which the Unions and the NEA oppose) then this No more indoctrination by Big Brother

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 29 March, 2016, 15:38

    Sorry DOOMERS, this one had to hurt! LMAO……. How much more can you take? Hah.

    Reply this comment
    • California Grand Dragon -- KKK
      California Grand Dragon -- KKK 29 March, 2016, 16:23

      Ted and NTHEOC, as the head of the California chapter of the KKK, I’m with you, my friends!

      For a while there it looked like those spic and nigra kids would start to get a decent education, but our Democrat friends did a GREAT job seeing that such doesn’t happen.

      Our Klan kids often are a bit slow in school — we need to keep the minorities in their place so our kids can keep their white privilege advantage.

      The CTA and NEA are the best friends the KKK ever had. Who said we moved over to the GOP? No way!! We’ll stick with the plain-lookin’ girl what we brung to the dance.

      Thanks, my friends, for support’en us in this effort. You might consider joinin’ our little group!

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 29 March, 2016, 19:37

        Dragon, Nice try! We know you are a closet DOOMER. Go get some more tissues, you are going to need them. Plenty more spankings coming your way.

        Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 29 March, 2016, 15:48

    Ok, what next DOOMERS??? Oh,Oh I know, let’s build a wall!!! And let’s make Mexico pay for it. Ya, let’s make America great again!! Ok everyone now, Who’s gonna pay? Mexico! Who’s gonna pay? Mexico! Ok, now your on the right track DOOMERS. Lol……….

    Reply this comment
  8. desmond
    desmond 30 March, 2016, 03:44

    More reason for fun projects.
    Know where a teacher union rep lives? Key their car.
    If the window is open, take a stupendous dump in.
    These are cost free fun projects like pissing on a firetruck while the firejerkov does exactly that.

    Reply this comment
    • ted
      ted 30 March, 2016, 08:14

      desi– those projects seem right about your speed….I can’t imagine that you’d be able to contribute very much more to society than that little buddy.

      God Bless ya, I’m sorry for your los…….lol….yet again!

      Reply this comment
  9. doug
    doug 31 March, 2016, 22:45

    i bet she met Ted Cruz today. he wants to eliminate Common Core.

    Reply this comment

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