Magazine April 25, 2016, Issue

Labor Dodges a Bullet

The Supreme Court has spared public-sector unions from right-to-work laws, barely.

Organized labor emitted a loud sigh of relief on March 29 when the Supreme Court deadlocked in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. For acting as the agent for workers in collective bargaining, a public-sector union typically charges them fees even if they choose not to join the union, and Friedrichs failed to establish the unconstitutionality of that practice.

Two recent Supreme Court precedents — Knox v. SEIU (2012) and Harris v. Quinn (2014) — and the conservative justices’ questions at oral argument in January suggested to most observers that the Court was ready to strike down “agency fees” for non-members. Had

Daniel DiSalvo is an associate professor of political science in the Colin Powell School at the City College of New York–CUNY and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

In This Issue



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