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Working Together: How the Supreme Court divided the civil rights movement and labor leaders

February 8, 20184:00 pm6:00 pm


Once, activists dreamed of an all-inclusive movement for poor people. But then came the 1950s – labor began to decline as a social movement, and civil rights leaders turned away from their early focus on labor rights. What role did the courts play in pushing these movements apart?

Professor Fisk finds that the era’s labor laws, which were hostile to picketing by labor organizers, encouraged civil rights advocates to distance themselves from labor movements. When the Supreme Court finally granted First Amendment protection to civil rights picketing that it had long denied to labor picketing, that decision cemented a divide between advocates who had once sought to create progressive, inclusive social movements.

This event is cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Law and Society.
Please register to secure your spot.

Thursday, February 8, 4:00 pm
IRLE Director’s Room, 2521 Channing Way
Please join us for a reception after the talk.


Catherine Fisk is a professor at Berkeley Law. Before entering academia, she clerked at US Court of Appeals for Judge William Norris and then practiced law at a labor and civil litigation boutique in Washington, DC and at the appellate section of the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice.

Fisk is the author of four books, including one on Hollywood writers’ unions. She’s also a regular contributor at general-interest publications. Read her thoughts on reforming police unions, union members who don’t pay dues, and divisions in the labor movement in the Trump era.