Friday, May 1, 2015

Estlund reviews Lee, "The Workplace Constitution"

The latest issue of the Texas Law Review includes a lengthy review of The Workplace Constitution, by recent guest blogger Sophia Z. Lee. Here's an excerpt, from reviewer Cynthia Estlund (New York University School of Law):
Professor Sophia Lee explores the evolution of two visions of what she calls the “workplace Constitution”— two conceptions of the federal constitutional rights of employees—that have been contending for judicial approval since the New Deal. The liberal workplace constitutionalists fought chiefly to deploy constitutional arguments to combat discrimination in private-sector employment, especially in the decades before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The conservative workplace constitutionalists proclaimed the rights of individual workers as against collectivist trade unions and especially against mandatory union fees. Lee explores the intertwined jurisprudential underpinnings of the liberal and conservative variants of the workplace Constitution, which have swirled beneath and around some of the most elemental constitutional controversies of the mid-twentieth century and beyond. The famously confounding “state action” problem is at the heart of the story, and Lee brings that problem and others to life through vivid histories of lawmaking and litigation that feature sophisticated legal analysis—both that of the participants and Lee’s own. 
Read on here.