Peril and Possibility: Strikes, Rights, and Legal Change in the Age of Trump

17 Pages Posted: 20 May 2019 Last revised: 6 Dec 2019

See all articles by Kate Andrias

Kate Andrias

Columbia University - Law School

Date Written: April 25, 2019


This essay, originally presented as the 2018 David E. Feller Memorial Labor Law Lecture at Berkeley Law School, argues that we are living through what is simultaneously a moment of extraordinary peril and extraordinary possibility for workers and for labor law. In particular, it uses the recent teachers’ strike in West Virginia to illustrate the intensity of attack against workers’ rights and public services; to examine the problems with the law that governs strikes in the United States; and, more optimistically, to explore how social movements are challenging that law and offering a fundamentally different vision of the constitutional rights to which all workers and all people should be entitled. Given just days after the death of Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the lecture closes by honoring the Judge’s commitment both to workers’ rights and to a “Constitution dedicated to promoting the general welfare, ensuring the equality of all individuals, and guaranteeing liberty and justice to all . . . .”

Keywords: labor law, employment law, constitutional law, social movements, inequality

Suggested Citation

Andrias, Kate, Peril and Possibility: Strikes, Rights, and Legal Change in the Age of Trump (April 25, 2019). Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Forthcoming, U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 651, Available at SSRN:

Kate Andrias (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

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