The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, July 27, 2018

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Labor no fan of Supreme Court pick

Organized labor doesn’t like President Trump’s nominee to become the next U.S. Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh. It’s up to the U.S. Senate to confirm Kavanaugh’s appointment to the High Court.

"Working people expect the Supreme Court to be the fairest and most independent branch of government in America,” said AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka. “Any senator who believes Supreme Court justices should protect the rights of all Americans should reject this nomination and demand a nominee who will protect the rights of working people and uphold our constitutional values of liberty, equality, and justice for all.

“The more we look at what Kavanaugh has done, the more it seems his nomination to the Supreme Court should be rejected. Kavanaugh routinely rules against working people and their families.”

For example:

•In American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO v. Gates, a partial dissent argued that Kavanaugh’s majority opinion would allow the secretary of defense to abolish collective bargaining at the Department of Defense.

•In Venetian Casino Resort LLC v. NLRB, he sided with a casino after an NLRB decision that the hotel engaged in unfair labor practices by requesting that police officers issue criminal citations against legal protesters.

•In Miller v. Clinton, he argued that the U.S. State Department could fire an employee because he turned 65.

•In Seven-Sky v. Holder, he argued in a dissent that a president could declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional and not enforce it, despite it being passed by Congress.

The Washington Post’s Steve Pearlstein once described Kavanaugh as “nothing more than a partisan shock trooper in a black robe waging an ideological battle against government regulation.” 

Politico reported that the White House boasts to the business community in a memo that, “Kavanaugh has overruled federal regulators 75 times on cases involving clean air, consumer protection, net neutrality and other issues.”

“It’s deeply troubling that the president thinks such a description is the best fit for the Supreme Court,” Trumka said. 

In a 2016 case, Kavanaugh overturned an NLRB decision that allowed members of Springfield, Mass., IBEW Local 2324 to display signs in their personal vehicles calling for a fair contract from their employer, Verizon. He ruled that the simple display of “Verizon, Honor Our Existing Contract” signs in cars parked on company property constituted an illegal picket, in violation of the employees’ contract.

Said IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson: “Judge Kavanaugh has run roughshod over workers his entire career. A seat on the Supreme Court would give him the ultimate power to rule against unions, against job safety, against affordable health care for people with pre-existing conditions – in short, against justice, fairness and decency whenever and wherever they conflict with the interests of the rich and powerful.”