How Defunding Public Sector Unions Will Diminish Our Democracy: The High Stakes of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

Source: Richard D. Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation, Issue Brief, January 7, 2016

From the summary:
On January 11, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The case pits the right of public employees to band together and form effective unions to pursue the common interests of workers against the free speech rights of dissenting public employees to abstain from funding collective bargaining efforts with which they disagree.1 A decision by the Court against the teachers association could not only significantly weaken public sector unions, but also endanger the nation’s core democratic values. …. The report proceeds in four parts. Part I analyzes the claims in Friedrichs under the current framework of balancing envisioned by the Supreme Court, and concludes that fair share fees are justified. Part II broadens the discussion to consider the state’s powerful interest in promoting institutions that strengthen American democracy. Part III considers an objection raised by supporters of Friedrichs: that public sector unions will do just fine if they lose the Friedrichs case. Part IV concludes…..