Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Podcast: Public unions and free speech at the Supreme Court

January 14, 2016 by NCC Staff


Protestors in the Wisconsin Capital Building, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. (credit: CindyH Photography)

On January 11, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in one of the most important First Amendment cases of the term, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which asks whether public sector employees can be required to support the bargaining activities of a union they may not agree with.

Joining We the People to discuss the constitutional issues in Friedrichs and to predict how the Court will rule are two scholars who have weighed in on opposite sides of the case.

Catherine Fisk is Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.David Forte is Professor of Law at the Cleveland State University Marshall College of Law.Download this episode (right click and save)

This show was engineered by David Stotz and produced by Nicandro Iannacci. Research was provided by Lana Ulrich and Danieli Evans. The host of We the People is Jeffrey Rosen.

Get the latest constitutional news, and continue the conversation, on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

We want to know what you think of the podcast! Email us at [email protected].

Please subscribe to We the People. While you’re in the iTunes Store, leave us a rating and review—it helps other people discover what we do.

Please also subscribe to Live at America’s Town Hall, featuring conversations and debates presented at the Center, across from Independence Hall in beautiful Philadelphia.

We the People is a member of Slate’s Panoply network. Check out all of our sibling podcasts at

Despite our congressional charter, the National Constitution Center is a private nonprofit—we receive little government support, and we rely on the generosity of people around the country who are inspired by our nonpartisan mission of constitutional debate and education. Please consider becoming a member to support our work, including this podcast. Visit to learn more.

Recent Stories on Constitution Daily

Why January presidential polling numbers can be crucialSupreme Court overrules Florida death penalty sentencing schemeConstitution Check: Is the Supreme Court Obama’s silent partner on gun control?

Sign up for our email newsletter