U.S. SUPREME COURT’S TIE VOTE AFFIRMS LOWER COURT DECISION IN FAVOR OF CTA
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a judgment today affirming the lower court ruling in favor of CTA in the Friedrichs lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of fair share fees. The loss of fair share would have hurt working families by silencing the collective voice of faculty and other union members.
On January 11, the U.S. Supreme Court heard how Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association sought to make it harder for educators to come together to work for better learning conditions for students, lower tuition and student fees, oversight on budget issues, legislation supporting students and faculty, smaller class sizes, and safer schools and colleges. The plaintiffs sought to overturn common-sense jurisprudence established in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education in 1977, which allows states and localities the freedom to choose whether all public employees should pay their fair share for the employment representation they receive.
Hundreds of amici (friends of the court) – representing all levels of government, public officials, civil rights organizations, academic experts, and others – filed 24 briefs amici curiae with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of CTA.
The original lawsuit was filed on April 30, 2013, in federal court in Santa Ana, seeking to overturn agency fees as an unconstitutional violation of non-members’ First Amendment rights. The suit, which is backed by big money corporate special interests, also contends that it is unconstitutional for unions to require non-members to “opt out” of supporting non-chargeable expenditures.
In addition to the amici briefs, CTA and NEA – together with a number of unions – filed respondents’ brief for the case.