Former California teacher Rebecca Friedrichs asserted on the first evening of the Republican National Convention (RNC) that her court battle against the teachers’ unions became an even greater struggle when the Obama-Biden administration and then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris intervened to defeat her cause.
In her lawsuit against the California Teachers Association, Friedrichs and her fellow plaintiff claimed a First Amendment right to withhold financial support from a union whose positions they did not share. The teachers argued they could not assert their right through the union because there is no accountability in the relationship between the union — the collective-bargaining agent — and the individuals it was authorized by law to represent.
The Supreme Court heard Friedrichs’ case in late 2015, but Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death in February 2016 left the high court with a 4-4 tie vote. As a result, the lower court’s ruling that the union’s agency fees were not unconstitutional was allowed to stand.
However, in Janus v. AFSCME in June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that public-sector unions could no longer compel non-members to pay dues as it violated their First Amendment rights.
Friedrichs denounced the Democrat-supported teachers’ unions and the party’s vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris Monday night for their continued efforts to push a “radical agenda into classrooms.”
She addressed the negative impact of teachers’ unions on schools:
The only way to keep a free Republic is with a well-educated moral citizenry that can self-govern. Unions are subverting our republic. So, they undermine educational excellence, morality, law, and order. That’s why they spend hundreds of millions annually to defeat charter schools and school choice, trapping so many precious low-income children in dangerous, corrupt, and low-performing schools.
When Friedrichs explained how she and her fellow plaintiffs brought their lawsuit against the unions, she asked:
And do you know who intervened against us? The Obama Biden administration and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. They argued against us at the U.S. Supreme Court. Their comrades labeled us “pawns of Satan” and slandered us in mainstream media.
Friedrichs, who now heads the organization For Kids and Country, said, however, that President Donald Trump is “breaking the union’s grip on our schools”:
That’s why unions have tried to destroy him since the day he was elected. But President Trump isn’t afraid to fight for what’s right. He won’t back down … He’s even proposed education freedom scholarships to return control to parents, protect religious liberties and empower kids to escape dangerous low performing schools.
Friedrichs continued that the GOP platform supports educational freedom, while Democrats are standing with “deceptive teachers’ unions.”
“President Trump stands with America’s families, great teachers, and most importantly, our children,” she added. “So, America’s great teachers, let’s stand with President Trump in protection of the kids and country we love.”