Jake Wasserman

Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date



First Amendment, Employment law

Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Supreme Court of the United States


In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, public-sector unions face a constitutional challenge that could lead to their demise. In California, all public school employees are represented by a union--whether or not they are union members--and are required to pay an agency fee. This requirement seems to run contrary to the First Amendment, which generally prohibits the government from compelling citizens to support the speech and expressive activities of a private organization. This commentary argues that the Court should not overrule its decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and uphold the validity of agency-shop agreements.