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High court strikes down Calif. union-organizing law

By The Associated Press,
First Amendment Center Online staff

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court today struck down a California law that blocked use of state money for anti-union activities.

Federal labor law bars California from regulating union-related activities, the justices decided by a vote of 7-2 in Chamber of Commerce v. Brown.

The Court ruled on the state's first-in-the-nation law that bars employers from using state money to influence employees' views on unions in their workplaces.

A company might receive such funds for various purposes through a state grant, reimbursement, contract or use of state property.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, backed by the Bush administration, said the state was trying to silence employers from weighing in on organizing efforts. Federal labor law allows employers to be involved as long as they don't threaten reprisals.

High court questions Calif. law on union organizing
State contends statute simply seeks to ensure that state doesn't subsidize employer's pro- or anti-union activities; Justice Scalia ridicules notion that California law is neutral. 03.20.08


Court continues trend of protecting business free speech

By Tony Mauro Majority finds California law violates 'Congress' express protection of free debate' concerning unionization. 06.20.08

2007-08 Supreme Court case tracker

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