Blog

Filter By:
Sort By:

Tag: freedom of association

December 12, 2018

The constitutional right to speak for yourself

Public employees are a diverse group. Just as they don't all look alike, neither do they think alike. Under union-backed "exclusive representation" laws, however, they must speak with a single voice: the union's voice. In Massachusetts, four educators employed by the University of Massachusetts are challenging the state law that gives a union the s ...

December 03, 2018

Even lawyers are entitled to First Amendment protection

In Fleck v. Wetch, North Dakota lawyer Arnold Fleck seeks to be free from his forced association with the State Bar Association of North Dakota. After considering his petition for writ of certiorari at eight consecutive conferences, the Supreme Court today granted the petition, vacated the decision below, and remanded for reconsideration in light o ...

September 11, 2018

Ninth Circuit remains hostile to free association for conservative groups

This morning the Ninth Circuit released this opinion in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra, a case about whether California can demand confidential donor forms from nonprofit organizations operating within the state. Twice the district court has found that the law violates  donors’ First Amendment rights of free speech and associ ...

January 23, 2018

Challenging the mandatory government bar

Do states require drinkers to buy their scotch and sodas at a government-run bar? Well, no. But 31 states do require all attorneys to belong to a government-run bar association as a condition for practicing law... ...

May 19, 2017

Yes, the Constitution even protects communists

Naively, I thought that was obvious. But apparently I was wrong. In California, government employees may be fired solely because they are a member of the Communist Party. What if they’re great at their job? Doesn’t matter. What if their ideas are irrelevant to their job? Doesn’t matter. What if they’re the most qualified per ...

February 27, 2017

Supreme Court won’t consider exclusive representation laws . . . for now

The Supreme Court often prefers that issues "percolate" in the lower courts for some time so that Circuit court and state supreme court judges have an opportunity to address all facets and implications of the arguments prior to high court review. It ensures that the arguments and theories in cases granted by the Supreme Court ...

January 06, 2017

Exclusive representation violates the First Amendment

New York laws and regulations deem family daycare providers (individuals who operate daycare businesses in their homes) to be "public employees" and requires a union to be the daycare providers' exclusive representative for bargaining with (e.g., lobbying) the state over daycare regulations and policies. The workers who are "deemed" public employee ...

June 30, 2015

Supreme Court to review public employee unions’ ability to garnish wages

The California Teachers Association—one of the most politically powerful groups in the state—may have to start funding its political campaigns with the money of only those teachers who actually support its goals.  Unlike other groups that seek donations from like-minded people who support the organizations' goals, the CTA has long benefited fr ...