In a surprise result, the Senate seat held by Democrat Ted Kennedy for 46 years will now belong to Republican Scott Brown. The results of Massachusetts’ special election obviously threaten to upset the fragile success Senate democrats have achieved with healthcare legislation. The election could also impair democrats’ chances of passing another piece of legislation of interest to unions and of concern for business: the Employee Free Choice Act (the “EFCA”). Read Kilpatrick Stockton's whitepaper on EFCA.

Even before healthcare monopolized the Senate’s attention, when both Massachusetts seats were held by Democrats, EFCA appeared unlikely to pass in its present form. As we’ve previously reported, EFCA’s card-check provision proved too controversial for many Senators, and Senate democrats were working to forge compromise legislation behind closed doors. Now, with one fewer seat, Senate democrats will likely face an even tougher battle to pass EFCA.