A few weeks ago we wrote about a case at the Supreme Court that might have a big impact on SHARE at UMMS: Friedrichs v. The California Teachers Association.
As you may have heard, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away suddenly. Justice Scalia was considered by experts to be the swing vote in the Friedrichs case. It is probable that his death will delay a decision on Friedrichs v. CTA and other close cases before the Court this session.
What will happen next?
The two most likely scenarios are:
1. The Court could vote 4-4 on the case. Then the ruling from the lower court, in favor of the union, would stand. It would be as if the case had never gone to the Supreme Court. Someone else would likely bring a similar case to the Supreme Court in the future, but it would take a while for a new case to work its way up through the lower courts.
2. The Court could decide that the case should be re-argued once a new Justice is appointed. This could also take a while. President Obama has said that he will nominate someone to succeed Justice Scalia. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that the Senate will block any Obama nominee. So it is unclear whether there will be a ninth Supreme Court Justice before the next President is in office.
What does this mean for SHARE members?
Whatever happens, it is likely that the Friedrichs case, or one like it, will eventually be heard by the Supreme Court, but probably not this session.
We will continue to talk together about what a negative decision would mean for us, what would happen if our union were either gone or weaker, and what we collectively want to do about it.