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Free Speech & Unionism Debate

Free Speech & Unionism Debate

Is public employees’ free speech protected?

After the U.S. Supreme Court 4-4 split in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, 136 S. Ct. 1083 (2016) two questions remain unsettled in labor law.

1. Should public employees be forced to subsidize collective bargaining activities conducted by their union? 

2. Can “opt-out schemes” created by public employers and unions, which automatically deduct full membership dues from workers until they affirmatively opt-out, be stopped?

Join this hot debate and and let’s explore if the First Amendment can draw the line between compelled unionism and free speech.

When: March 15th - 6:30 PM

Where: Montag Den - Montag Center, Willamette University


Ruben J. Garcia

  • Professor of Law, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
  • Author of the book, Marginal Workers: How Legal Fault Lines Divide Workers and Leave Them Without Protection (2012)

David Dewhirst

  • Litigation Counsel, Freedom Foundation
  • Authored Amicus Brief in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association supporting the Petitioners


Keith Cunningham-Parmeter

  • Professor of Law, Willamette University