[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) has the right to decide which issues it will negotiate [opinion, PDF] with labor unions, according to a Friday decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website]. The court held that Congress granted to the DOD "expansive authority to curtail collective bargaining through November 2009" when enacting the National Defense Authorization Act, codified in 5 USC Sec. 9902 [text].
In response, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) [union website], who brought the suit against the Pentagon, urged the Senate [press release] to pass a bill similar to the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill [HR 1585 summary] passed by the House on Thursday. The House bill passed 397-27 [roll call], despite the threat of a White House veto [policy statement, PDF], and included language that would strike down collective bargaining bans. AP has more.