Union, California Attorney General File Briefs in Friedrichs

The California Teacher’s Association and the California Attorney General have filed briefs before the Supreme Court in response to CIR’s arguments on behalf of Rebecca Friedrichs and other public school teachers.

The Union’s brief argues that public employees, like Rebecca Friedrichs and other school teachers, can be compelled to support political activity they disagree with because their status as government employee overrides their status as citizen. The Union reasons it may compel such speech because it has a strong interest in “labor peace” and governance. The Union’s argument is simply that the government’s rights outweigh the rights of individuals.

Indeed, the Union brief speaks of the state’s “interest,” “rights,” and “prerogative” nearly forty times in the space of fifty-nine pages. In contrast, the Union only refers to individual rights, or the First Amendment rights of teachers, in passing. When it does mention individual rights, it characterizes them as a burden on government interests.

Read the Union brief here.

The state of California likewise argues that individual rights are subservient to “administrative advantages to the state.” Furthermore, California continues to insist that collective bargaining is not political. This despite the fact that CIR and amici have pointed to political movements across the country organized by parents and teachers who fundamentally disagree with the policy positions taken by unions through collective bargaining.

Read California’s brief here.

CIR will file a reply brief on behalf of Friedrichs and the other plaintiffs on December 14th.