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September 2007

By: Alan M. Klinger, Charles G. Moerdler

Welcome to the inaugural installment of Stroock Reports - Public Employee Law. In each issue, we will highlight recent court cases and legal developments of interest to our public sector union clients and other friends of the firm.
Our first issue features several recent court decisions with significant ramifications for public sector unions. Two of these – one by the United States Supreme Court and the other by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals – affect the ability of unions to use agency fees for purposes other than collective bargaining. These cases, Davenport v. Washington Educ. Ass’n and Seidemann v. Bowen, impose new administrative burdens on unions and could signal a worrisome trend. We also report on a bill signed by Governor Spitzer that restores the right of public employees to union representation during investigatory interviews, and take an in-depth look at Parents Involved in Cmty. Schools v. Seattle School Dist. No. 1, the recent Supreme Court decision reversing much of the Court’s ground breaking doctrine of Brown v. Board of Education. Finally, we examine the Court’s “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” decision and its limitations on First Amendment rights of students.

Clearly, much has happened, and will continue to happen, that will affect public sector unions. The Public Employee Law Report will, we hope, provide useful analyses of these developments.

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