Expected rulings on affirmative action, abortion and ‘one person, one vote,’ among others, will remind voters of the power of judicial appointments
The Supreme Court is poised to deliver a midyear jolt, with rulings expected by June on issues that cut along partisan lines. The decisions are sure to remind voters that one of the next president’s greatest powers will be federal judicial appointments.
Four of the nine justices are in their 70s or 80s: Antonin Scalia on the right, Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the left, more centrist liberal Stephen Breyer and maverick conservative Anthony Kennedy, who has cast the deciding vote in most pivotal cases. The court is so sharply divided that even one appointment could tilt it significantly. Here are four major cases on its docket.
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. On Jan. 11 the court will hear arguments on whether public employees can be required to join a union or pay it a fee for collective-bargaining services.
The lawsuit contends such agreements violate First Amendment protections. Workers who object to joining a union already can get refunds for dues spent on political campaigns. The challengers, the Christian Educators Association International and 10 California public-school teachers, say that for public employees, collective bargaining also is political speech because it involves asking for budget or policy actions from a government agency.
If the suit prevails, public-employee unions say they could be crippled in about half the states that allow such agency shop clauses. Those states overwhelmingly lean Democratic. If unions prevail, it may be thanks to Justice Scalia, who has raised concerns about free riders—employees who benefit from collective bargaining but don’t contribute fully to its costs.See the other important cases and read the rest of the story HERE. View a related video below:
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