Legal Brief Emphasizes Success of Right-to-Work Laws in States like NC
On Friday, September 11, the Civitas Institute Center for Law and Freedom joined several other state-based legal and policy organizations in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the freedom of employees to choose what political causes they support. In a joint amicus brief in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the coalition asks the Court to reach the common-sense conclusion that employees cannot be forced to support a labor union with which they disagree politically or in other ways.
“Our argument basically goes that compelling a person to support a labor union is, for purposes of the First Amendment, no different than compelling that person to support a church, political party, or other private group which whom they disagree,” CLF Staff Attorney Elliot Engstrom said. “If the activities of unions were truly beneficial to all of their members, then there would be no need to compel people to support them.”
Friedrichs is a California case out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Unlike North Carolina, California does not have state right-to-work laws that protect employee freedom.
“We thought it was important to have organizations from right-to-work states on this brief, especially considering that a significant portion of the brief is dedicated to policy arguments about the benefits of such laws,” Engstrom said.
The brief was principally drafted by Jeffery Harris of Washington, D.C.-based Bancroft PLLC. He is a former law clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts. Joining CLF on the brief are organizations such as the Beacon Center of Tennessee, the John Locke Foundation, and the Washington Policy Center, among others.
Briefs for the respondents are due near the end of October, and the court will likely hear oral argument in December 2015 or January 2016.
The Center for Law and Freedom, a nonprofit public interest law firm housed within the Civitas Institute, provides free legal representation to North Carolinians facing difficult legal and policy challenges. The Center is one part of the Civitas Institute’s overall mission to implement conservative policy solutions for the benefit of all North Carolinians. This article may be reprinted if reprinted in its entirety and if credit is given to Civitas.