Locke v. Karass: Should the Court Overrule Lehnert's Test Determining Whether Union Expenditures Are Related to Collective Bargaining?

By Phineas Leahey
July 03, 2008
In the fall 2008 term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Locke v. Karass, a case of more potential significance than suggested by the narrow question presented: whether, consistent with the First Amendment, the State may compel non-member employees to fund litigation by the affi liate of a union certifi ed as their exclusive bargaining agent. Certiorari was granted to resolve a circuit split over whether such “extra-unit” litigation expenses are “chargeable” to dissenting non-members, but Locke presents a possible opportunity for the Court to revisit the prevailing constitutional standard for determining when public sector unions may compel fi nancial support for their activities from non-members....