Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 30, 2015

  • Orange County teacher challenges California Teachers Association
  • U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear case in next term
  • Were CTA to lose, it would affect its political power

California figured prominently, albeit indirectly, in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent high-profile decisions on Obamacare, same-sex marriages and congressional redistricting.

Justice Antonin Scalia even scornfully singled out California in his dissent on the marriage case.

Scalia and his colleagues are not, however, done with California.

As the court recessed this week, it accepted a landmark challenge to the California Teachers Association’s state-sanctioned collection of mandatory dues from teachers, a case whose outcome could seriously affect the state’s balance of political power.

Orange County teacher Rebecca Friedrichs is the nominal lead plaintiff in the case pursued by the Center for Individual Rights, an anti-union organization. It challenges the “fair share” fees that nonmembers must pay under a law passed by the Legislature in 2000 and signed by then-Gov. Gray Davis.

The Supreme Court’s acceptance of the case for its next term, which begins in October, is not surprising.

The court’s conservative wing had implied in past cases that it was open to erasing compulsory union dues and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal quickly kicked Friedrichs upstairs.

The CTA itself even staged a seminar for its leadership not long ago titled, “Not if, but when: Living in a world without Fair Share.”

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