June 28, 2014
The end of the October 2013 term of the U.S. Supreme Court is Monday, and they have two major decisions remaining on the docket:
1) Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (originally Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby), which addresses the requirement to provide contraceptive coverage in the Affordable Care Act, and more broadly the right of businesses owners to express their their religious beliefs through their business policies.
2) A case that we find even more compelling and consequential, Harris v. Quinn, which well could establish a right-to-work (i.e., the right not to be forced to pay dues to a labor union) in the United States Constitution, at least for public sector employees. The raging legal and political debate about forced union membership of public employees that has roiled the Country for decades, and even more intensely for the past five years (e.g., pitched political and legal battles over reform of forced unionization in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan), could come to a stunning conclusion on Monday.
If the Court takes a bold stance for liberty (i.e., freedom of choice for America’s public-sector workers of where their paycheck is spent and with whom they are required to associate), the consequences will be far-reaching. Indeed, depending on the language of the decision, it could spell the end to forced unionization in the private sector as well.
We anxiously await both rulings. Hobby Lobby is getting the most buzz; we think Harris could be the most important decision not just of this term, but of the entire Roberts Court.
[For more reading on the Harris v. Quinn case, the Illinois Policy Center has some perspectives : “Harris v. Quinn: Everything you need to know.“]
Please note: Finney Law Firm blog contributors have major Court appearances and transactional work throughout the day Monday, so it will be Monday night before we will report — other than perhaps on Twitter — of the developments in these two landmark cases. So, we will write more by Tuesday morning. In the meantime, we recommend the live blog on the www.Scotusblog.Com, which is linked here, beginning at 9:15 AM.