The Road to Abood: Where Did the Supreme Court Go Wrong?

With this series of posts, I return to constitutional law issues that SCOTUS will address in the 2015-16 term.  One case in particular—Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association—is hugely important and has already generated a great deal of commentary.  This site recently hosted an excellent Liberty Forum on the topic, Friedrichs, which involves a constitutional challenge to the compulsory payment of union dues by public employees, promises to be one of the most closely-watched cases next term.  Part of the interest owes to anticipation that the Court may overturn a nearly 40-year old precedent, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), which was criticized but not overruled last year in Harris v. Quinn, 573 U.S. ___, 134 S. Ct. 2618 (2014).  Without duplicating my colleagues’ thorough discussion, I offer a few additional observations.

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