Two teachers went to Washington, D.C. to hear the oral arguments about the Friedrichs v. CTA case, which could be very harmful to the future of all public sector unions.


You will find their account of the justices’ views fascinating. They listened as classroom teachers. Both teachers are BATS. Marla Kilfoyle is the executive director, and Melissa Tomlinson is the assistant director.


“At 6:45 a.m., braving about 30-degree weather, we took a cab down to the Supreme Court building. Although we got there around seven a.m., we were still 30th in line. We understood clearly that were were in line to witness the case that could destroy the unions that we belong to with pride- Melissa, as a member of NEA and Marla, a member of AFT. We have personal involvement in this case, enough that spurred us to spend a better part of our summer co-writing and submitting an Amicus Brief to be read by the Justices.

“The date was January 11th; the court case was Friedrichs vs. CTA.

“As we stood on the sidewalk, we watched the demonstrators line up. By the end of the morning, the “I stand with Rebecca” crowd numbered about 50 supporters, the union side about 500. We stood in line for about 3 ½. At approximately 10:05 we were let into the Court to witness the entire oral argument.
“We were overwhelmed

“We were to be witnesses to history

“Would it be the history that saves our unions?
“Would it be the history that destroys our unions?
“Here are our thoughts as we listened from the eyes and ears of two teachers.


“Here is the full transcript of the oral arguments.

Click to access 14-915_e2p3.pdf

“In this piece, we would like to share what we thought were some of the most poignant moments of this case. At the core of this case is the overturning of the four-decade-old case of Abood. Abood is the Supreme Court case that protects agency shop fees and thus holds up the ideals of “collective” bargaining. We would also like to address some of the comments that the Justices, Mr. Carvin, and the Union side made. Our observations, once again would come from the experience, and lens, of working teachers who have had unions working for them”