For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Expected Supreme Court Union Ruling Would Undermine Democracy, Professor Tabatha Abu El-Haj Writes in The Hill

Tabatha Abu El-Haj

January 13, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to strike down a California law that allows unions to collect service fees from non-member employees who benefit from collective bargaining, Professor Tabatha Abu El-Haj wrote in a blog post in The Hill on Jan. 12.

In arguments heard on Jan. 11, Abu El-Haj wrote, the court seemed prepared to overturn a California law under which non-member employees are required to support the cost of collective bargaining from which they benefit, even though they can refuse to subsidize a union’s political activities.

Upending the law would “strike one more blow against the political power of ordinary Americans,” Abu El-Haj said, noting that unions “remain the secular backbone of the civic and political life of many ordinary Americans.”

Like churches, the PTA and the Rotary Club, unions “are part of a virtuous circle of civic mindedness, political engagement and democratic accountability” that promotes political participation, Abu El-Haj said, adding that union members vote in higher numbers than unaffiliated workers.