CHN: Supreme Court To Rule On Two Cases of Interest to Human Needs Community This Term

There are at least two cases the Supreme Court will rule on this session that are of interest to the human needs community. On January 11, the Court heard oral arguments in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. According to SCOTUSblog, the law of the land for the last 40 years has been that, although public employees who don’t join a union cannot be required to pay for the union’s political activities, they can be charged an “agency” or “fair share” fee to pay for other costs that the union incurs, like for collective bargaining. The rationale is that the union is required by law to represent everyone in the workplace, whether they are a union member or not, and all public employees enjoy the benefits that the union negotiates, like better wages and working conditions. However, that law is now being challenged. If the Supreme Court rules against the California Teachers Association, it could severely impact public sector unions.
In April, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether the President’s executive orders expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA) guidelines and creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program will survive. The Court announced its decision to review United States v. Texas, the case that put on hold the President’s initiatives to allow millions of immigrants to apply for deferral of deportation and work authorization, on January 19. Advocates like those at the National Immigration Law Center are confident the Supreme Court will uphold the President’s actions, allowing the programs to go forward and allowing millions of immigrants to come out of the shadows, work legally, get better jobs, pay taxes and stop living in fear. Advocates have been working hard to remind immigrants that the case does not impact the “Dreamer” children who were granted relief from deportation under the 2012 DACA program. A decision from the Court is expected in June. For more on the history and background of the case, see the June 15 Human Needs Report.

Labor and Employment