Follow AAE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

Justice Scalia’s Passing: What it means for Friedrichs vs. CTA in 5 FAQs
posted by: Alana | February 18, 2016, 10:23 PM   


In light of Justice Scalia’s sudden passing, many teachers are anxious to know the status of the Friedrichs vs. CTA Supreme Court case.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions and their respective answers:

  1. How will Justice Scalia’s passing impact the case?
  2. First and foremost, the Friedrichs case is not over. However, as a result of a potential tie decision, the Center for Individual Rights has announced plans to argue that the case be re-heard when a full Supreme Court can render an authoritative decision.

  3. What would happen if a tie vote were to be made?
  4. If the Supreme Court were to issue a 4-4 decision, the lower court ruling could be upheld.  Waiting for a new justice to be seated will once and for all give teachers the answers they deserve about their free speech rights.

  5. When will the case be re-heard?
  6. While much is still uncertain about the eventual Supreme Court nominee and approval process, experts expect the case to be re-heard during the courts next term, which begins in October of this year. This could mean a year-long delay of the final resolution of the case.

  7. Has this ever happened before?
  8. Yes! There are decades-old examples of the U.S. Supreme Court re-hearing cases that have already been argued once a new justice is appointed to the court.

  9. Union supporters think the case is over. Is that true?
    The Center for Individual Rights – representing the AAE plaintiff teachers in Friedrichs vs. CTA – issued the following statement addressing this issue:

    “Union supporters who proclaimed Friedrichs done and over with within hours of Justice Scalia’s death miss what is at the heart of this case:  the crucial need for our Supreme Court to settle controversial questions of individual rights — rights that affect all Americans — authoritatively.  These central First Amendment issues need to be settled after full deliberation, not as the result of the tragic and untimely death of one Justice.  Friedrichs needs to be heard and decided by a full Court.”
    Read the full statement.

AAE remains fully supportive of Rebecca Friedrichs and the AAE member teachers standing alongside her. This case is too important to not be heard by a full Supreme Court. We’re confident justice will ultimately prevail for the thousands and thousands of teachers who are no longer interested in funding a hyper-partisan labor union.


Learn more about Friedrichs vs. CTA by reading one of the following articles on the AAE blog:

Meanwhile, at Union Headquarters…

AAE Video Release: Lawsuits with Impact

Friedrichs vs. CTA Will Ring in the New Year at the Supreme Court

NEA Braces for Supreme Court Decision in Friedrichs vs. CTA

NEFW 2015: Friedrichs v. CTA Could Change the Face of the Teaching Profession

Unions Brace for Impact of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

Supreme Court May Determine Fate of Forced Unionism


Have you talked to any of your colleagues about the Friedrichs vs. CTA U.S. Supreme Court Case?
Tell us about it in the comments below!


Comments (2)Add Comment
written by AAE , February 19, 2016

Thanks for the comment. You are correct. The term starts in October 2016; however, the case would ideally be heard in 2017.
written by L Sand, February 18, 2016

One issue. Item 3 reads, "While much is still uncertain about the eventual Supreme Court nominee and approval process, experts expect the case to be re-heard in October of this year during the Court’s next term." If the case is re-heard in October, that means the new Justice will have been appointed by Obama, which does not bode well for the plaintiffs. The best scenario for a successful outcome is if the new president appoints the Justice and that the president is not named Clinton or Sanders.

Submit a comment
 (not published)
smaller | bigger

security code
Write the displayed characters