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Around 50 teachers, union representatives and students protest the laying off of four teachers Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Academy of Personalized Learning in Redding, Calif. Union officials say the teachers are being let go because they were among 21 teachers who joined the California Teachers Association last year. The layoffs come on the heels of five other layoffs in December.Around 50 teachers, union representatives and students protest the laying off of four teachers Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Academy of Personalized Learning in Redding, Calif. Union officials say the teachers are being let go because they were among 21 teachers who joined the California Teachers Association last year. The layoffs come on the heels of five other layoffs in December. (Greg Barnette/Record Searchlight via AP)

The upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could significantly affect public sector labor unions. But a new brief discusses how the case could also affect mandatory bar membership for lawyers.

In Friedrichs, likely to be argued later this year, 10 California schoolteachers are challenging on First Amendment grounds the requirement that they pay dues to the teachers union—even though some of the money goes toward advocacy of educational policy and other issues they oppose.

The challengers, represented by Jones Day, are asking the high court to overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a 1977 precedent that said objecting public-sector employees could be forced to pay an agency fee to unions to cover the cost of collective bargaining, which benefits all employees—but not to fund other union activities, such as political advocacy.

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