Supreme Court Splits 4-4 on Friedrichs Case; Upholds Teachers Union Fees

United States Supreme Court - Washington D.C.

United States Supreme Court – Washington D.C.

Rebecca Friedrich, a veteran Orange County teacher, must keep paying her union dues even though she doesn’t support her union while enjoying the benefits of her union’s work.  That’s because the Supreme Court just split 4-4 upholding a lower court ruling and underscoring why it’s critical for the Senate to do their jobs and give Judge Merrick Garland a hearing.  It’s clear, if Justice Antonin Scalia were still alive, Friedrich would have won her case.

From the LA Times:  “The Supreme Court announced a tie vote today in what labor law experts had called a “life-or-death” case for public employee unions.

The split decision preserves a long-standing rule that requires about half of the nation’s teachers, transit workers and other public employees to pay a “fair share fee” to support their union. 

The tie vote will come as a relief to union officials who feared the conservative court was on the brink of striking down the pro-union laws that authorized these fees.

It’s also the strongest sign yet that the court’s conservatives cannot muster a majority to rule in their favor. At the oral argument in December, it looked as though the mandatory union dues would be struck down.

The National Education Assn. — the nation’s largest union, with 3 million members — hailed the decision as a victory.

“The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a political ploy to silence public employees like teachers, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, higher education faculty and other educators to work together to shape their profession,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.” 


  4 comments for “Supreme Court Splits 4-4 on Friedrichs Case; Upholds Teachers Union Fees

  1. Ltpar
    March 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Thug unions win and the school kids of America lose on this one. Case will have to be reheard next year after Republicans take the White House and a new conservative Justice is appointed.

    • March 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Police unions are good unions, teachers unions are thug unions. Gotcha, lieutenant.

      • Ltpar
        March 29, 2016 at 4:29 pm

        The union I ran for 17 years was not a closed shop and membership in it was voluntary. We had several members who did not belong and that was OK. I have never supported mandatory union membership, nor will I ever do so. Additionally, Police Unions have not co-opted management of their organizations as have the worthless Teachers Unions and many others as well. You only need to look at the sorry state of public education in this country and that will be confirmed.

        • RHackett
          March 29, 2016 at 8:25 pm

          So you were okay with members getting all the benefits of collective bargaining without paying for them?

          If one can receive the benefits without paying, why pay at all?

          That is what this case is about, right?

          Isn’t getting free stuff a reason why conservatives consider themselves different than liberals?

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