Science and Politics in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

Benjamin Superfine, Regina Rose Umpstead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In March 2017, the Supreme Court decided Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association and upheld the constitutionality of agency fees for nonunion teachers. We examine how Friedrichs reflects a host of issues grouped around a patchwork of ideological commitments regarding teachers unions and public-sector unions more generally, partisan politics, and empirically oriented claims about the impact of teachers unions on students’ educational opportunities. We particularly argue that the case reflects a tension between judicial, scientific, and democratic decision-making, and that courts and reformers should be sensitive to this tension as they consider similar cases moving forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-233
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018


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