Victory for the moment as Supreme Court splits in Friedrichs

The Supreme Court entered an order today which puts an end to the Friedrichs case.  By a vote of 4 to 4, the Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision dismissing the lawsuit. 

This decision affirms the longstanding rule under the Supreme Court’s decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which allows union security arrangements where permitted by state law.  It also means that none of the 4 conservative justices were willing to approve union security. 

This outcome is a victory for the moment.  However, there are more lawsuits pending, and if the composition of the court changes with a Republican appointee, the issue in another case will come back to the Court.  If that happens, we could see a much different outcome.  Many public sector unions have put into place efforts to reorganize and move forward.  The anti-public employee forces will continue to push these issues.  

By David Rosenfeld | March 29, 2016

Legal Developments