Monday, July 9, 2012
Herbert on The Chill of a Wintry Light: Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri and the Right to Petition in Public Employment
Friend of the blog, Bill Herbert, just posted his latest article on SSRN: The Chill of a Wintry Light: Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri and the Right to Petition in Public Employment. It is scheduled to be published by the University of Toledo Law Review.
The article analyzes Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri in the context of American public sector labor history, which includes a legacy of explicit prohibitions on public employees petitioning for improved working conditions and limitations on their right to freely associate for mutual aid and protection.
Herbert argues that in reaching its decision in Borough of Duryea, the Court overlooked the centrality of petitioning in public sector labor relations. The article closely examines the factual and the state legal background of the case to highlight the importance of statutory and contractual protections in public employment, and the pitfalls when those protections are abandoned in favor of constitutional litigation. Finally, the article examines the overlooked question of what enforceable constitutional rights remain for public employees if or when statutory protections and rights are eliminated or substantially curtailed.
Looks very interesting. Check it out!