The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday dealt a significant\u0026nbsp;blow to the rights of agricultural workers to organize, ruling 6-3 that a California regulation granting union representatives\u0026nbsp;access to farms amounted\u0026nbsp;to an uncompensated government taking of farm owners\u0026#039; private property.\r\n\r\n\u0022While Cedar Point is devastating for California\u0026nbsp;agricultural workers, its impact on others workers may be minimal—but only because they already have so few rights on the job.\u0022\r\n—Samir Sonti, CUNY\r\n\r\nWednesday\u0026#039;s decision (pdf) in Cedar Point Nursery vs. Hassid\u0026nbsp;\u0022makes a racist, broken farm labor system even more unequal,\u0022 said the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). \u0022SCOTUS fails to balance a farmer\u0026#039;s property rights with a farm worker\u0026#039;s human rights.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Farm workers are the hardest working people in America,\u0022 UFW added. \u0022This decision denies workers the right to use breaks to freely discuss whether they want to have a union.\u0022\r\n\r\nOther critics of the ruling included Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), who tweeted\u0026nbsp;that the high court\u0026#039;s right-wing majority, a product of the Republican Party\u0026#039;s recent stacking of the bench, \u0022has handed down another attack on organized labor in their long war against working Americans.\u0022\r\n\r\nAt issue was a California regulation that allows labor organizers to enter private farms to talk with farm workers during non-working times about joining a union.\r\n\r\nWriting for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that \u0022the access regulation grants labor organizations a right to invade the growers\u0026#039;\u0026nbsp;property,\u0022 which he characterized as an appropriation without just compensation.\r\n\r\nThe decision \u0022expands the category of per se physical takings,\u0022 said Jenny Breen, associate professor of law at Syracuse University, setting a judicial precedent with potentially profound consequences.\r\n\r\nAs Breen explained in an email to Common Dreams:\r\n\r\n\r\nGovernment regulations that affect property rights are typically analyzed using a fact-oriented balancing test established by the court in the 1978 case\u0026nbsp;Penn Central v. NYC. Instead of applying that test to the facts of this case, the court applied a separate line of cases regarding per se\u0026nbsp;physical\u0026nbsp;takings of private property by the government. That decision is perplexing given the obvious fact that the government did not physically take the property of the agricultural employers in the case, but merely gave agricultural employees the right to meet with union organizers at their place of work (during non-working times and in ways that did not interfere with work). The court applies the physical, per se takings line of cases because it concludes that the regulation \u0022amounts to a simple appropriation of private property\u0022 because it limited the employers\u0026#039; \u0022right to exclude.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\nThe ruling has major implications, according to Steve Vladeck, the\u0026nbsp;Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts\u0026nbsp;at the University of Texas School of Law.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nAs a result of the decision, Vladeck said, \u0022states cannot authorize unions (or anyone else) to enter private property, even for lawful activities (like union organizing) without compensating the property owners\u0022—an additional cost\u0026nbsp;the labor movement can ill afford.\r\n\r\nSamir Sonti, assistant professor at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, described the decision as \u0022an attack on California agricultural workers and their right to organize for better working conditions.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022The 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (CALRA) was a landmark victory for the UFW and others, which at least in one state confronted the historic injustice of farm worker exclusion from federal labor law,\u0022 Sonti told\u0026nbsp;Common Dreams. \u0022That important law has now taken a major hit.\u0022\r\n\r\nIt is \u0022a bit less clear\u0022 how the ruling will affect labor law more broadly, noted Sonti.\r\n\r\n\u0022Decades of precedents have already undermined the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)\u0026nbsp;as it pertains to union organizers\u0026#039;\u0026nbsp;access to the workplace,\u0022 he said. \u0022Only under the most exceptional circumstances are private sector workers attempting to form a union able to speak to an organizer while on the employer\u0026#039;s property.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022This\u0026nbsp;decision does not bode well for the fate of labor regulations—or any other government regulations that could conceivably impact private property rights.\u0022\r\n—Jenny Breen, Syracuse University\r\n\r\n\u0022While Cedar Point is devastating for California\u0026nbsp;agricultural workers, its impact on others workers may be minimal—but only because they already have so few rights on the job,\u0022 he added.\r\n\r\nSonti likened Wednesday\u0026#039;s\u0026nbsp;ruling\u0026nbsp;to the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Janus vs. AFSCME, which held that public sector unions cannot collect so-called \u0022fair share\u0022 fees that help unions represent all workers, including non-unionized ones. Both rulings, he told Common Dreams, constitute\u0026nbsp;assaults on\u0026nbsp;the labor movement and\u0026nbsp;are geared toward \u0022enshrining the\u0026nbsp;race to the bottom\u0022 when it comes to worker rights.\r\n\r\nIn addition to undermining the CALRA, the Cedar Point decision has far-reaching constitutional ramifications.\u0026nbsp;According to Vladeck, \u0022It\u0026#039;s not just a major loss for unions. It\u0026#039;s a major win for property rights beyond labor cases.\u0022\r\n\r\nJustice Stephen Breyer, in a dissenting opinion—which was joined by Justices Elena Kagan and\u0026nbsp;Sonia Sotomayor—warned that \u0022the majority\u0026#039;s conclusion threatens to make many ordinary forms of regulation unusually complex or impractical.\u0022\r\n\r\nThose concerns were\u0026nbsp;shared by Breen, who criticized the high court for continuing \u0022to assume that employers have nearly unfettered private property rights that are unaffected by the presence of workers on their property.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022One of the parties in this case, for example, employed between 1,800 to 3,000 employees,\u0022 Breen told Common Dreams. \u0022The rights of those workers to have access to union organizers—the basis of the regulation in the first place—played no role in the court\u0026#039;s decision today.\u0022\r\n\r\nShe continued:\r\n\r\n\r\nEmployers continue to wield property rights as forms of their \u0022sole and despotic dominion\u0022 (in the words of Blackstone, quoted approvingly by the court) over their employees, with no meaningful check by the court. It is truly incredible that the court interprets a regulation impacting a workplace employing thousands of workers in the same manner it would interpret a regulation impacting your backyard. There is no justification for such an extreme commitment to ignoring reality.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\r\nFurthermore, Breen added, the court\u0026#039;s interpretation of constitutional language, which she said \u0022imports absolutist views of common law rights,\u0022 jeopardizes the legality of long-standing regulations protecting occupational health and safety.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022This\u0026nbsp;decision does not bode well for the fate of labor regulations—or any other government regulations that could conceivably impact private property rights—in future cases to reach this court,\u0022 said Breen, who warned\u0026nbsp;of a return to the\u0026nbsp;Lochner era, a pre-New Deal period when the Supreme Court routinely shot down regulations and defended employers\u0026#039; right\u0026nbsp;to exploit workers without state interference.