Lectures & Events

Public Sector Unions after Janus v. AFSCME

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
1 hour of in-person CLE credit, pending approval

Last year, in Janus v. AFSCME, a divided Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to require government employees to pay mandatory agency fees to public sector unions. Such requirements, a narrow majority held, violate the First Amendment rights of public sector workers who do not support union bargaining positions or political activities. In reaching this decision, the Court overturned decades of precedent and set the stage for additional legal challenges to public sector unions, as well as to other forms of compelled contributions to organizations. This program will provide an overview of the Janus decision, the legal questions it resolved and the new legal questions it raises. The program will also discuss the practical consequences of this decision for public sector union representation, how public sector unions might respond to maintain their viability, and the nature of additional legal issues that are being raised, including by recent lawsuits filed in Ohio. This event will be particularly valuable for those attorneys with an interest in labor issues, state and local government law, as well as the First Amendment.

Speaker Information Robert Alt is the president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, where he also serves on the Board of Trustees.

Alt’s leadership has been the catalyst for The Buckeye Institute’s exponential growth since he took the organization’s helm in 2012. He has since founded The Buckeye Institute’s esteemed Economic Research Center and Legal Center, from which the Buckeye team not only imagines public policy victories but compels them with sound data, objective research, and strategic litigation. Alt is a nationally recognized scholar with expertise in legal policy including criminal justice, national security, and constitutional law. Prior to heading The Buckeye Institute, Alt was a director in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies serving under former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III at The Heritage Foundation, where he regularly advised Members of Congress and Supreme Court litigants on complex legal arguments and strategy.

Alt serves on the Board of Trustees for The Philadelphia Society, the Board of Governors for the Council for National Policy, the Boards of Directors for the Free Speech in Science Project and Center, the Federalist Society’s Columbus Lawyers Chapter board, and the Board of Advisors for the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University where he has taught classes in constitutional law and political parties and interest groups. Alt also previously taught national security law, criminal law, and legislation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Alt is an attorney admitted to the bars of Ohio and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and D.C. Circuits, a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, and a former fellow in the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Claremont Institute where he was also a Publius fellow in 1998.

Alt earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was symposium editor and the winner of the Mulroy Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy as well as research assistant to renowned law professor Richard Epstein. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Alice Batchelder on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Alt graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy magna cum laude from Azusa Pacific University where he won the Outstanding Senior Award in Political Science.

Professor Malin is co-director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace and teaches Labor Law, Employment Discrimination, Public Sector Employees, ADR in the Workplace, and Contracts. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University's James Madison College and his J.D. from George Washington University, where he was an editor of the law review and elected to the Order of the Coif. He joined the Chicago-Kent faculty in 1980 after serving as law clerk to United States District Judge Robert E. DeMascio in Detroit and on the faculty of Ohio State University.

Professor Malin is a former national chair of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, a former Secretary of the ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law, a former member of the Executive Committee of The Labor Law Group, and a former member of the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is a Vice President of the National Academy of Arbitrators. During 1984 and 1985, Professor Malin served as consultant to the Illinois State, Local and Educational Labor Relations Boards and drafted the boards' regulations implementing the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. From 2004 to 2008, he served as reporter to the Neutrality Project of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies, which produced a mini-treatise on labor board and mediation agency impartiality. In October 2009, President Obama appointed Professor Malin as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, which resolves impasses in collective bargaining between federal agencies and unions that represent their employees. President Obama reappointed Professor Malin in 2014. In 2016, the ABA presented Professor Malin with the Arvid Anderson Award for lifetime contributions to public sector labor law.

Professor Malin has written extensively on all aspects of labor and employment law, including Public Sector Employment (West 2004, 3rd ed. 2016), the leading casebook on the law governing public employees, and Labor Law in the Contemporary Workplace (West 2009, 2d ed. 2014), a leading casebook on labor law.

Event Location
Moot Courtroom (A59)
11075 East Blvd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

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