By William E. Forbath and Cynthia Estlund
Unions have never been uncontroversial in American society, but the battles over labor have grown fiercer in recent years: Witness the fight over public-employee unions in Wisconsin, or the 2012 decision by Michigan lawmakers to join the ranks of “right to work” states.
On Monday a 5-to-4 majority of the Supreme Court fired its own salvo in the war on unions. Though its decision in Harris v. Quinn was narrow, saying that, in some cases, unions could not collect fees from one particular class of public employees who did not want to join, its language suggests that this may be the court’s first step toward nationalizing the “right to work” gospel by embedding it in constitutional law.
Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and official policies of The University of Texas School of Law.