With the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, organized labor may be spared—for a little while….
Friedrichs Is Dead; Labor’s Crisis Is Not. The ‘Scalia Dividend’ Is a Rare Opportunity for Unions.
Source: Shaun Richman, In These Times, February 16, 2016
The Friedrichs vs. CTA Supreme Court case, a nakedly partisan assassination attempt on the labor movement, has died with Justice Antonin Scalia. What cannot die with it is the sense of existential crisis within the labor movement. We need a far-reaching conversation about the pathway back to increased activism, membership and power…..
Menu of coverage about Justice Scalia
Source: Andrew Hamm, SCOTUSblog, February 16, 2016
Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday at a ranch in Texas, after apparently having died in his sleep. Here is a collection of our coverage:….
How Scalia’s death may save teachers unions — for now
Source: Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, February 14, 2016
….In Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Assn., many court watchers had expected Scalia to deliver the deciding vote against unions, limiting their ability to collect membership dues and other fees. Without Scalia, a 4-4 split is considered likely. That would maintain the status quo — a huge win for unions, at least for now. Though union opponents could mount a new case, that would probably take at least another year, said Jeffrey H. Keefe, a research associate at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute…..
Scalia’s death and Friedrichs
Source: Brian Mahoney, Politico, Morning Shift, February 16, 2016
….Morning Shift guesses (though of course we can’t be certain) that an Obama appointee to the court — were he or she to win Senate confirmation — would vote against the Friedrichs plaintiffs, if only to avoid overturning a 1977 Supreme Court precedent. Were that to occur, the re-hearing’s practical result for public employee unions — continued collection of fair share fees — would be the same as an inconclusive 4-4 ruling this term. It would just take longer to resolve itself … during which time the unions would continue to collect fair share fees. http://bit.ly/1Pzq7au…
Commentary: Unions could still lose Friedrichs – even if we win
Source: Dave Kamper, Workday Minnesota, February 14, 2016
….Unions can still lose, but the important point is that losing doesn’t depend on what the Court does. We will lose if we fail to learn the lessons of these few months of panic, a panic that has shown both the depths of strength and the glaring weaknesses in the American labor movement. Three lessons stand out….
The most significant Supreme Court case that could be immediately affected by Scalia’s death
Source: Lydia DePillis, Washington Post, Wonkblog, February 13, 2016
A grave threat to public sector unions may have been averted — for now….So now, all signs point to the court deadlocking 4-4. In that scenario, the decision of the lower court — rejecting Friedrichs’ argument — would be affirmed. That decision would carry no precedent, so the court would be free to accept another case with a similar fact pattern, and rule the other way. But that would take at least another year, probably more….
The Labor Prospect: What Scalia’s Death Means for Unions
Source: Justin Miller, American Prospect, February 16, 2016
The impact of Scalia’s death goes way beyond Friedrichs, plus West Virginia goes right-to-work, and Minneapolis moves toward mandatory sick leave.
Justice Scalia’s Death: This Changes Everything
Source: Roger Parloff, Fortune, February 13, 2016
….On our closely divided Supreme Court, which sooner or later seems to decide all of the most emotionally freighted political questions of the day—affirmative action, abortion, gun rights, gay rights, labor and employment issues, immigration, Obamacare, the death penalty, and on it goes—a decisive, conservative 5-4 majority has just been shaved to a 4-4 toss-up……
Scalia’s Death Probably Flips Big Cases
Source: Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, February 16, 2016
….How will the death of Justice Antonin Scalia affect the major cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, all of which are expected to be decided by the end of June? The answer doesn’t depend entirely on how Scalia would’ve voted. It also depends on a necessary rule of procedure: When the Supreme Court is divided equally, it upholds the decision below. Applying this dual analysis to five major cases in the pipeline yields some surprising results. The issues involved are: fees in lieu of union dues for nonunion workers, the University of Texas’s affirmative-action admissions program, Texas’s restrictive abortion law, President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, and a group of nuns’ demand to be exempted from filing a certificate so they won’t have to pay for employees’ contraceptive insurance under the Affordable Care Act….
When Scalia Died, So Did ‘Friedrichs’—And an Even Grander Scheme To Destroy Unions
Source: Moshe Z. Marvit, In These Times, February 15, 2016
….Last week, in a little-noticed case called D’Agostino v. Baker, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation lost at the First Circuit in their attempt to argue that the First Amendment does not allow exclusive representation of home healthcare workers. This case sought to expand the Harris holding by arguing that the First Amendment prohibits home healthcare unions not only from collecting fees from workers who don’t want to pay, but also from bargaining on behalf of any worker who doesn’t opt to be a member. Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter wrote the decision for the First Circuit in D’Agnostino, relying heavily on Abood and its progeny. If history is any indication, National Right to Work was planning on appealing this case to the Supreme Court. The case provided a glimpse of what the likely post-Friedrichs plan of attack would have been: After you win on the dues front, go after membership. In addition, other cases, such as Bain v. CTA, that attacked the membership rights of unions but had been thrown out by lower courts, were likely to reappear…..
Here Are Six All-Important Cases Now Pretty Much Decided After Scalia’s Death
Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones, February 13, 2016
….Because of the polarized nature of the court, Scalia’s death makes it all but certain that in most of those cases, the votes will result in a 4-4 tie, which means that the decision of the lower courts will likely stand unless one of the justices goes off the reservation and votes with the opposite side. That means we can probably predict the outcome of several key cases without having to wait until June.
The results are a mixed bag. The Obama administration is likely to lose an important fight over immigration. Unions win. Reproductive rights for women could suffer. And challenges to redistricting are likely to founder.
Here’s a rundown of how six of those cases are likely to unfold:
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association: Perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of Scalia’s death are public sector unions. This case, which produced one of the more contentious oral arguments of the term, was headed towards a 5-4 decision in favor of Rebecca Friedrichs and the other plaintiffs who were challenging the California’s teachers’ union’s right to charge public school employees fees to cover the costs of the collective bargaining it did on their behalf, even though they aren’t members of the union. The case was teed up by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, and labor supporters feared a ruling against the union could devastate what’s left of labor’s power. The lawyers for Friedrichs asked the lower court to rule against them to hasten the case’s arrival at the Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals complied, and now that decision is likely to stand if the liberal-conservative split on the court delivers a 4-4 vote. Labor wins…..
The untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia will likely decide several hot-button cases.
How Scalia’s Death Will Affect Pending Cases Before the Supreme Court
Source: Massimo Calabresi, Time, February 13, 2016
….When the Supreme Court justices split evenly on how to rule, the decision of the lower court stands. This can happen when a justice is recused from a case, or when there is a vacancy on the court. Scalia represented the fifth vote for conservatives on the court and in those cases that were expected to split 5-4 along ideological grounds, his death may affect the outcome. In the event of a tie among the justices, the Supreme Court effectively upholds the lower court’s ruling and any opinions issued are considered non-binding. The most likely case currently before the court to be affected by Scalia’s death is a union case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which could have restricted unions’ ability to collect fees from non-members for collective bargaining. If the court issues a ruling this year, it is unlikely to break with the settled constitutional interpretation that unions can do so…..
How Scalia’s Death Affects This Term’s Biggest Supreme Court Cases
Source: Jordan Weissmann, Slate, February 13, 2016
Here’s a brief rundown of how Scalia’s passing will (or won’t) affect the biggest cases of this term…..
Case: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association
Issue: Public sector union rights
Outcome in a split: The liberals win.
Not to be too blunt, but presenting this case before a post-Scalia court is an enormous break for American labor unions. In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the court is considering whether public servants can be forced under “fair share” laws to pay fees to unions in order to cover the cost of collective bargaining on their behalf, even if they’re not members. A ruling against the teachers’ unions would effectively extend right-to-work laws to government employees across the nation and significantly cut into public-sector union revenue. And as of oral arguments, it looked as if that was about to happen. But with Scalia no longer on the court, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which upheld fair share rules, may still stand…..
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al.
Source: The Center for Individual Rights, February 17, 2016
….If these predictions are correct, then the current panel of eight Justices would result in a 4-4 decision which would not settle the question of whether compulsory dues are constitutional. If the Court were to issue such a decision, the lawyers for Rebecca Friedrichs and the nine other plaintiffs will file a motion for rehearing….