by Sophia Z. Lee, Professor of Law and History at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. This post draws on her book, The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right.
*This is part of ACSblog's Symposium on Janus v. AFSCME
This term, the Court in Janus v. AFSCME will decide the constitutional fate of fair-share fees for public sector unions. These fees support unions’ collective bargaining work on behalf of employees they are legally required to represent but who are not union members. Most prognosticators expect the Court to hand the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) a win on its claim that such fees violate the First Amendment rights of non-union workers. Yet, as I develop further below, the history that led to Janus offers three thin rays of hope to the labor movement.