In Focus: Justice Scalia's Death Leads to Employer Uncertainty

By Allen Smith, J.D. Feb 16, 2016

​Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

The tragic passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia throws employers into a world of uncertainty. Scalia’s death will no doubt lead to an unusual amount of turmoil for the foreseeable future.

(Fisher & Phillips)​

How Scalia’s Death Affects 9 Big Cases at the Supreme Court

Scalia’s death threatens to derail a long-term project to roll back the power of regulatory agencies, plaintiff lawyers and the federal government—a project that the court under Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. has advanced with remarkable success. Here are some of the major unresolved cases of this term whose futures have suddenly become harder to predict.


Here’s How Scalia’s Death Affects Supreme Court Rulings This Year

Scalia’s death is a major setback for the conservative legal movement, as will become clear in the months ahead. On tap to be decided in the next four months are cases affecting the power of labor unions and President Barack Obama’s health care and immigration policies. With Scalia on the bench, conservatives stood a chance of winning them all. Not anymore.

​(USA Today)

Justices Will Review Fee Collection by Public Employees’ Unions
The high court has agreed to decide this term whether allowing unions to collect agency fees from public employees who are not union members violates the employees’ First Amendment rights to free speech and free association. At oral argument in the case, Scalia was skeptical about why the fees were needed, asking, “Why do you think that the union would not survive without these fees charged to nonmembers of the union? Federal employee unions do not charge agency fees to nonmembers, and they seem to survive; indeed, they prosper.”

(SHRM Online)

Supreme Court May Resuscitate Obama’s Immigration Actions

While conservatives hoped that the Supreme Court would strike down Obama’s immigration actions, immigration law attorneys were hopeful even before Scalia’s death that the court would support Obama’s controversial immigration actions. It was anticipated that Scalia would be among the staunchest opponents on the bench of Obama’s immigration actions.

(SHRM Online)

Allen Smith, J.D., is the manager of workplace law content for SHRM. Follow him @SHRMlegaleditor​.


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