Overruling Abood Will Correct a Travesty

My first two posts in this series discussed, respectively, the origins of the concept of “exclusive representation” in the NLRA and the Supreme Court case law leading up to Abood in 1977.   In this post, I will analyze the decision in Abood (which, it will be recalled, was roundly criticized in Harris v. Quinn (2014) and may be overruled in Friedrichs). 

First, a brief digression.  In 1979-80, I was a third year law student at the University of Texas law school.  Because I was interested in labor law, I took a seminar on public sector labor relations.  I wrote my seminar paper on the Abood case, which I felt (then and now) was a terrible decision.  I submitted my seminar paper to the Labor Law Journal, which published it as “Union Security Clauses in Public Sector Labor Contracts and Abood v. Detroit Board of Education: A Dissent,” in the September 1980 issue (31 Labor Law Journal 391).  As is evident from the title, I argued that Abood was wrongly decided.  It was one of my first published articles.

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