Janus Roundup And What’s Next? Kennedy Goes, Skandera’s New Idea, Musk’s School, More!

On the Fordham Gadfly podcast I discuss the article Drew Pache and I wrote about school safety and ways to keep schools safe without turning them into forts.

Max Marchitello is going deeper on what might be driving the gender pay gap in Illinois.

Too much Janus coverage to get it all here but this 74 overview is worth your time and a good primer. Yesterday on the blog I offered some reaction as I read through the decision. And here’s a piece in USAT from a conservative group in Michigan that’s worth reading because whether or not you agree with them it forecasts the next round of the fight here: What Janus inoculation measures will pass legal muster? This WSJ article gets into some of the questions that are swirling around. Though some of my colleagues disagree, I’d also keep an eye on pressure around exclusive representation, which is where I think this is headed over time. I’m not sold on the chaos that getting rid of agency fees will cause, the “labor peace” argument, but that argument does seem more of an issue if future cases go further.

Dan Weisberg argues that Janus is a blessing in disguise for the teachers unions. Seems right but I question their ability to capitalize on it given their positioning.

There seems to be some confusion about the money in question in some of the commentary I’ve seen following the case. Teachers’ unions can’t compel non-members to support political work – that was the case prior to Janus. That’s why there was an agency fee structure, that  agency fee money supports other work that the union does on behalf of teachers. Mark Janus’ argument was that even the agency fee didn’t provide relief because everything the union does is political at some level. Essentially the question is how to balance compelling people to support that other union work even if they disagree with it against the free rider problem. The court decided that compelling was the greater constitutional problem. They could have come down more in the middle, but didn’t. This Bellwether deck has a lot of context and background.

Also at the court, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, as you surely heard. Most immediately in education this heightens the stakes on the affirmative action cases now in the court and assuming President Trump appoints the next justice it seems increasingly likely that race-based affirmative action will be struck down. This case emerging from Harvard seems tailored made for Justice Robert’s views on that issue.

And there has been some talk about trying to get the court to revisit the landmark Rodriguez decision on constitutional rights to education. That seems like an even longer odds play now.

Hanna Skandera has a new ideas project – check it out here and she describes it here in The 74

Elon Musk has a car company, space company, digging company, and now a school.

Guy Davis “Sugar Belly.”

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