This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Jan. 6, 2016 for week ending Jan. 15, 2016


"The case was brought by a group of people who are represented by some very right-wing foundations that are funded by the Koch Brothers. This is part and parcel of the effort of dismantling a progressive America. So this is about trying to destroy the public employee unions and ultimately destroy the private sector unions, and that will follow."

– Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society, commenting on what's at stake in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11, 2016.

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Case Before U.S. Supreme Court Could Cripple Public Sector Labor Unions

MP3 Interview with Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society, conducted by Scott Harris


For almost 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the right of public sector labor unions to collect union dues from non-members that they represent as they negotiate with management on the issues of job site working conditions that benefit the entire workforce. But in the case known as Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which will be argued before the high court on Jan. 11, a group of non-union California teachers are litigating to prevent unions from collecting all fees related to collective bargaining, contract administration and the handling of employee grievances.  Story continues

New York Issues Conditional Pardon to Thousands of Youthful Offenders

MP3 Interview with Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


In late December, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to pardon thousands of people who were convicted of nonviolent crimes as teenagers, but have since turned their lives around. New York is one of just two states that still prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system, resulting in thousands of teens receiving felony convictions that places obstacles in the way of accessing education, and/or securing jobs and housing.  Story continues

Amid Widespread Charges of Fraud, Haiti Cancels 2nd Round Presidential Election

MP3 Interview with Kim Ives, co-founder and an editor with the international weekly newspaper Haiti Liberté, conducted by Scott Harris


For a period of four years since 2010, local and legislative elections were postponed in Haiti under the administration of President Michel Martelly. This set up a situation where Martelly, whose government has been charged with pervasive corruption, has ruled by decree since January 2015. The first round of legislative elections held on Aug. 9, 2015 were disrupted by violence. And when Haitians went to the polls again on Oct. 25 last year to choose a successor to Martelly and participate in the second round of elections to pick new legislators, opposition parties charged that the process was marred by widespread fraud. Those charges were recently confirmed in a report issued by an independent panel. In the Oct. 25 election, Martelly's handpicked candidate, Jovenel Moise, a political unknown, won 32.8 percent of the vote, with opposition candidate Jude Celestin winning 25.3 percent of votes cast.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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