Civil Rights and the Right to Work

Reason, February 2016, pp. 55-57, Forthcoming

George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 16-01

4 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2016 Last revised: 25 Jan 2016

See all articles by David E Bernstein

David E Bernstein

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: January 21, 2016

Abstract

This is a book review of Sophia Lee, The Workplace Constitution: From the New Deal to the New Right. The book is a lively, well-written exploration of two movements, the civil rights movement and the right to work movement, that tried to constitutionalize the rights of workers in response to the New Deal's provision of monopoly power to labor unions. Lee also discusses some surprising commonalities and even synergies between the two movements.

This review considers the book in the broader context of labor history. Unlike much labor history, it is mercifully free of jargon and of ideological cant. The very fact that Lee treats the civil rights movement and the right-to-work movement as parallel and at times symbiotic "workplace constitution" movements itself demonstrates a welcome broadmindedness about what is significant in labor and constitutional history.

Keywords: American labor unions, civil rights movement, discrimination, right-to-work movement, U.S. Constitution, workplace rules

JEL Classification: K31

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, David Eliot, Civil Rights and the Right to Work (January 21, 2016). Reason, February 2016, pp. 55-57, Forthcoming; George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 16-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2719793

David Eliot Bernstein (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8089 (Phone)
703-993-8202 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~dbernste

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