The Liberty Justice Center filed an amicus brief supporting two California growers in their appeal to protect their private property rights in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid. The brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate California’s unconstitutional regulation that allows union organizers to invade the growers’ property and disrupt their commercial operations.
The case challenges California’s Union Access Regulation, which allows union organizers to enter an agricultural business’s private property three hours a day, 120 days a year in order to recruit members. The regulation violates business owners’ Fifth Amendment right to exclude trespassers from private property because it does not provide the property owners just compensation for the taking of the use of their property.
The brief argues that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that property rights cannot be subordinated to the right to organize when unions have reasonable means of communication by which to contact employees. Although in the past, farm workers often lived on their employers’ property during the season, and had little access to media or other means of communications, today, seasonal workers stay off-site and most workers have access to Spanish-speaking media outlets and have access to smartphones and the internet. Unions, therefore, have unlimited opportunities to reach these workers with their messages without having to access the employer’s private property.
Simply because California believes the right to organize and join a union is important does not confer an open-ended warrant to advance that interest by forcing an easement on agricultural businesses’ private property without compensation.