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Regent Law Contributes to Supreme Court Case

by Rachel Smith and Brett Wilson | July 18, 2014

Bruce Cameron

Professionals and students in the legal field understand that sometimes changing the world happens in a courtroom. But for a Regent University School of Law professor and students who worked to help protect home healthcare employees from paying mandatory union dues, it happened in the highest court in the nation—the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bruce Cameron, Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law and National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW) staff member, worked alongside Jennifer Brown '14, Megan Donley '12 and Zachary Hoffman '14 in different capacities for Harris v. Quinn, a case argued before the Supreme Court in January 2014.

The case investigated whether or not state-paid home healthcare employees like Pamela Harris, who cares for her disabled son, should pay compulsory union dues. Home healthcare employees are friends and relatives of the sick and disabled who choose to provide home-care rather than institutionalize their loved ones.

Due to declining membership, union leaders asked states that created home care programs to recognize these workers as state employees for purposes of collective bargaining.

Cameron partnered with William Messenger, a National Right to Work (NRTW) Foundation attorney who represented several home healthcare employees. Cameron edited a brief, suggested case strategy, and worked with students who did research on issues related to Harris v. Quinn.

Donley assisted both Messenger and Cameron, and wrote an article for Regent University Law Review on the case while Brown and Hoffman contributed research for the case when it went before the Supreme Court.

This summer, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Harris and several other employees represented by NRTW Foundation staff attorneys, stating that it is unconstitutional that union dues be mandatory.

"I continue to work toward the goal of eliminating compulsory union fees, and Regent students continue to help me," said Cameron. "We are changing the balance of political power in the United States to better reflect the free choice of citizens."

Learn more about Regent University School of Law.


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