By Robert A. Vella
Public employee unions – which represent government workers such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters – breathed a temporary sigh of relief today after the U.S. Supreme Court split 4-4 along partisan lines in a case that challenged the collective bargaining rights of public sector labor unions to collect dues from all its members. The split decision allowed the previous ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stand in effect for the nine western states under its jurisdiction.
Had the conservative ideologue Justice Antonin Scalia not died recently, the Supreme Court would have certainly ruled against the public employee unions which would have dealt yet another crippling blow to collective bargaining and workers’ rights in the United States.
Since the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling only applies to its western jurisdiction, more challenges to public sector unions are likely from the rest of the nation.
This case is: REBECCA FRIEDRICHS; SCOTT WILFORD; JELENA FIGUEROA; GEORGE W. WHITE, JR.; KEVIN ROUGHTON; PEGGY SEARCY; JOSE MANSO; HARLAN ELRICH; KAREN CUEN; IRENE ZAVALA; and CHRISTIAN EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL v. CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, ET AL