Harris v. Quinn

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: October 1, 2013
  • Case #: 11-681
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court Below: 656 F.3d 692 (7th Cir. 2011)
  • Full Text Opinion

(1) Whether a collective bargaining agreement, which requires home-care personal assistants to pay a fee to union representatives, violates the First Amendment; and (2) whether the lower court erred in holding that the claims of providers in the Home Based Support Services Program are not ripe for judicial review.

Petitioner represents a group of in-home healthcare providers to Medicaid recipients. Illinois state law requires that providers of in-home care to Medicaid recipients accept and support an exclusive representative to petition the State over Medicaid reimbursement rates. Petitioners filed a class action lawsuit against Respondent, The Governor of Illinois, alleging that requiring exclusive representation to petition the government violates the First Amendment.

The District court held that the state of Illinois is a "joint employer" and may compel exclusive representation. Additionally, the court held that Petitioners that did not have to make contributions to the exclusive representative lacked ripeness. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.

Petitioner appealed and the Supreme Court granted certiorari. Petitioner argues that home-care personal assistants cannot effectively exercise their First Amendment right to petition the government exclusively through a representative appointed by the government. Petitioners further argue that because they wish to petition the government as “citizens in public forums,” that Respondent’s “labor peace” argument in compelling exclusive representation is inapplicable.

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