A Supreme Court case threatens public unions nationwide.

Public Unions Face a Mortal Threat at the Supreme Court

Public Unions Face a Mortal Threat at the Supreme Court

Law and the Supreme Court justices who interpret it.
Jan. 9 2016 10:06 AM

Amicus: Labor Pains

The Supreme Court takes up a case that could stanch the flow of funds to public sector unions.

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Listen to Episode 34 of Slate’s Amicus:

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Ever since 1977, government workers in half of the states have paid mandatory administrative fees to the unions that represent them. This week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that could put an end to that practice. The plaintiffs in Friedrichs v California Teachers Association argue that public sector union activity is inherently political, and so forcing them to support that activity violates their First Amendment rights.

On this week’s episode, we hear from lawyers who submitted amicus briefs on each side of the case. Ilya Shapiro is a senor fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute who submitted a brief on behalf of the Cato Institute. Samuel Bagenstos is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who authored a brief for a group of cities, counties, and elected officials who support the unions’ right to collect mandatory fees from their workers.

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Podcast production by Tony Field.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast Amicus.