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SCOTUS appears poised to strike blow to unions in Friedrichs

LA School Report | January 12, 2016



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By John Fensterwald 

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices were what news reports called hostile in their questioning of union lawyers Monday during arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that could undercut the financial stability and the political clout of public employee unions in California and nearly two dozen states

Ten teachers in California who declined to join their local unions filed the lawsuit against the state and the 300,000-member CTA, charging that a state law requiring them to pay fees to cover bargaining costs coerces them to support a union whose positions they disagree with, violating their First Amendment speech rights.

The plaintiffs want the court to overturn a four-decades-old court decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. That ruling said non-union employees don’t have to pay that portion of union dues that underwrites the union’s political activities, including the costs of backing candidates and lobbying governments on issues not related to working conditions and pay.

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