Speed Reads

organized labor

Supreme Court conservatives just 'undid one of César Chávez's greatest accomplishments'

In a 6-3 ruling along ideological lines, the Supreme Court struck down a California law that gave union organizers access to farm sites. The decision means people seeking out farm workers for unionization purposes going forward will be violating the property rights of agricultural landowners and food processors, who can now legally keep them off their land.

Critics lamented the result. Niko Bowie, a professor at Harvard Law, wrote that the regulation "was the product of a years-long campaign by César Chávez" and the United Farm Workers "to force agribusiness to respect the dignity and workplace rights of agricultural workers." Slate's Mark Joseph Stern agreed, tweeting that the high court's "conservative supermajority just undid one of César Chávez's greatest accomplishments." He called it "a complete and total blowout against unions" that marks "an incredibly dark day for organized labor."

Chief Justice John Roberts, who penned the majority opinion, said the regulation is "not germane to any benefit provided to agricultural employers or any risked posed to the public," while it "grants labor organizations a right to invade growers' property," which "constitutes a per se physical taking." Read more at The Los Angeles Times.