Day 2: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) Asks Questions of Justice Amy Barrett
Yes, yes, I know Judge Amy Barrett has not been confirmed to be a Justice and serve on SCOTUS yet. I believe it to be a slam dunk for her to be confirmed by Senators without morals or a conscience.
There are times I believe we should have non attorneys in the Senate and then this occurs where an attorney is friendly or at least on target with the issues. Senator Whitehouse expands on what he described yesterday using Abood as an example, how Alito signaled the gang of five conservative Justices were ready to overturn it, and reveals the methodology to over turn it.
Abood v. Detroit Board of Education is dead as a Supreme Court precedent. The 1977 decision had allowed public-employee unions to compel workers to pay the unions “agency fees” for representing them in collective bargaining.
A study by Frank Manzo, the policy director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, and Robert Bruno, a labor professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that a decision in favor of Mark Janus the complaintant could reduce the union membership of state and local government employees by 8.2 percentage points, or 726,000 union members.
Senator Whitehouse contends it was organizations such as Donner’s Trust which received funding from some 200 right-of-center funders who had given at least $10,000 to fill the group’s coffers. Charities bankrolled by Charles and David Koch, the DeVoses, and the Bradleys, among other conservative benefactors, have given to Donors Trust. And other recipients of Donors Trust money include the Heritage Foundation, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the NRA’s Freedom Action Foundation, the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Federalist Society, and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, chaired (PDF) by none other than David Koch.
Barrett looks unbelieving of the dialogue. 24 minutes of questions and conversation.
When are we going to stop moaning and groaning about how bad the courts are to labor and support the one thing that can turn the whole thing upside down for us overnight?
Anybody have any other ideas that can work to turn this country into a European style labor-centric country, on the quick? If not when are we going to start making regularly scheduled, union certification elections at every private (non gov) workplace our number one legislative goal?
When? When? When?!
SCOTUS is preparing to take up the ACA for a second time and this time as to whether severing the mandate from it causes the entire ACA to be illegitimate. The already answered questions are whether Congress would pass a similar bill without a mandate, nullify the present law due to lack of the mandate, or can the ACA stand on its own without the mandate. The answers to these questions are yes, no and yes. Here we are again going to SCOTUS and exposing it to another round of political bias baked into the court makeup of justices. No law is immune from their political bias and it will go from a 5-4 bias to a 6-3 bias. Whitehouse pointed out there were some 70-80 SCOTUS decisions made on a 5-4 majority. It is these which will again be brought before the court as contested by moneyed interested and supported by numerous sponsored amicus briefs, sponsored by 1% of this nations household tax payers who have much to gain from reversal of these decisions.
Do you honestly believe a law passed to support labor would escape the same scrutiny? I do not.
What we ultimately need to affect change is an effective voting block. MLK was strengthening the bonds between unions and black power before he was assassinated. Subsequently the right has severed those bonds both by eliminating unions and by pitting union workers against racial minority interests with considerable assistance from the Democratic Party on both fronts. The Democratic Party has worked to build a new voting block, but has thus far done so ineffectively. We could argue for days why, but the proof is in the pudding. It has been far more difficult than Democratic Party electoral strategists ever expected to unscrew the pooch.
When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act he stated that Democrats had lost the South for a generation. He was off by a generation or two and did not take into account Pennsyltucky.
That’s why it is so hard to build that white working class Dem voter block. . They traded their union cards for sheets.
Run, listen to Ron. If we had 50% union density in this country — which we easily could with regularly scheduled elections (what a heaven for most American workers) — along with the typical concomitant of sector wide contracts — we would have such a powerful voting block that we could (“shut my mouth”) pack the court if necessary, if it were the only way to get democracy back.
Go listen to Sheldon Whitehouse Part 1 AGAIN.
Certainly you are correct on racism for the most part, but the loss of unions was orchestrated over decades with a lot of the destruction taking the form of mergers and reorganizations. Even on race though there are races and places, not just races in a vacuum. Places change over time along with demographic and economic changes. Stupid simple is one thing and uncomplicated simple is rare.
Then there was Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis. Sure, it does not happen every day, but it did happen. “Remember the Titans” is a favorite movie at our house, but it is just a movie. The general events did actually happen and the characters were real, but desegregation had happened there years earlier. Most of the real life conflict was about players getting recognition by college football scouts. But “The Best of Enemies” ran very close to the real life story. In Orange County, VA, we had Marion du Pont Scott. It seems that at times in some places one person or a few can make a much larger difference than one might expect.
I was shocked by the racism in Richmond, VA, when I moved there to start college in 1967 (then quickly dropout). Richmond is different now. Orange was different then, but I don’t how things have gone there since Marion died in 1983.
Unionism is an actual purpose built institutional system. Systemic racism is the infiltration of one or more institutional systems by bigots in positions of power. We can legislate institutions, but bigots must either be elected or appointed. Legislation can exacerbate racism, but it takes bigots to implement it. There are two different institutional problems that must be solved separately for those institutions to cooperate to our benefit, but those separate solutions would be naturally mutually reinforcing. Certainly the political system must come first for the union system to be rebuilt, but it is unlikely that any progressive political system solution would last significantly long without the support of unions.
The simple fact is that Reps have won elections based on the votes of the white working class. These were the union members that voted for Reps that have attacked the labor movement for decades. They put those bigots in office.
Even in the last election I watched as union workers supported Trump. A person who has been anti-union and anti-labor his entire life.
Only one reason for that.
Ferraro asked Union workers in the Rockford plant why they are voting Reagan even though Dems supported Labor more so back then back. Reagan pimped unions by decertifying the Controllers Union. It has been downhill ever since. You are on the verge of another big change for Labor with the addition of Barrett who will served the moneyed interests who are in support of her placement on SCOTUS. The ACA which covers millions of people making <250% FPL through generous subsidies and those <138% of FPL through Medicaid are on the table once again.
The courts will block Labor.
“…Only one reason for that.”
[Do you mean China taking so many of our manufacturing jobs? OK, I know what you meant, but it is still more complicated than you think
BTW, was Bill Clinton racist? The crime bill and welfare reform that he signed into law were racist, but was Bill just a fool or just a tool?
I would expect that pubic sector union workers would vote for the Democratic Party candidates, but then with the extreme decline in private sector union participation then that knife cuts both ways.]
How the Obama Coalition Crumbled, Leaving an Opening for Trump
By Nate Cohn
Dec. 23, 2016
“But pinning Mrs. Clinton’s loss on low black turnout would probably be a mistake. Mr. Obama would have easily won both his elections with this level of black turnout and support. (He would have won Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin each time even if Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee had been severed from their states and cast adrift into the Great Lakes.)”
* * * * * *
It seems the blue collar voted for Obama twice — but he did nothing to make their lives better (and Clinton insured more of the same nothing). Andrew Strom’s idea would have take them by storm either during the Obama years, in the campaign season — OR NOW!
I was recently made wise to why Bill Clinton did some of his slip-away from progressive stands. Seems Newt Gingrich had taken over the House and Senate — and Republican Bob Dole was running for president. Had Dole won, between him and Gingrich they would have rolled back the New Deal all the way to 1930. Clinton couldn’t take that chance of losing the presidency — hence, the heavy “triangulating.”
Good to know. Also, good to have you here at AB since EV is ancient history now.
Take care and best of luck to you.
Amazing to me that people ignore that the 2016 election was the first Presidential election since the Supreme Court killed the Voting Rights Act.
Obama gave the blue collar worker a lot. Simply take a look at what has happened to the Labor Department since Trump took over. He also gave 20 million of them health insurance, and extended UI benefits and provided the states with cash to deal with the recession. That was without any help from the GOP.
Unions and manufacturing jobs were declining since the 50s.
All Employees, Manufacturing/All Employees, Total Nonfarm
If I put something supporting unions on at 3AM in the morning, EMichael would have something trumped up (no pun, honestly) anti at 3:30AM.
“Unions and manufacturing jobs were declining since the 50s.”
[Exactly. After the dividends tax credit was rescinded for the final time in 1954, then in 1955 the first two LBOs were executed along with a firestorm of ordinary buyouts and mergers – all union killers as target firm labor agreements were usually rescinded by the new owners immediately. Mergers also wiped out pension plans for white collar as well as blue collar workers.
The dividends tax credit had offset the capital gains tax preference ever since the income tax was permanently installed in 1913 to allow tariffs to be lifted ushering in the era of free trade, which cost blue collar workers and unions in several ways over time. ]
It never hurts to throw out some numbers, but i don’t have time. Got serious stuff to do this PM. How about separate private and public sector union participation rates from pre-Taft Hartley up until now by decade. Can you get that. Presently private unionized is at 6% of private employees, which really sucks. Public rate is much higher, which just pisses a lot of people off.
“In 2010 8.4 million government workers were represented by unions, including 31% of federal workers, 35% of state workers and 46% of local workers”
That’s about the best I can do. I don’t usually quote government union numbers because (a) government employees don’t have the same full First Amendment right (freedom of association) that private employees do and (b) ironically, lack of determined management obsession to break them means government employees end up with a lot more union protection anyway.
There are plenty of attempts to break government unions to often leave them in the lurch — or many government employees without a union (perfect example might be Wisconsin, post Scott Walker). Full (50+%?) private union density brought on via regularly scheduled cert/recert/decert elections could create the critical mass of union power needed to shore up government unions in turn.
Having experienced Germany, I would say the works council system is better than unions anyway. Unions tend to be very conservative organisations, full of generals fighting the last war, and can become large, bureaucratic and unwieldy. Works councils are more responsive to members needs.
Let’s go Dutch or Deutsch, as you may prefer. Dennis had brought up sector wide labor agreements many times before at EV. Now though his focus may be on the shortest path to an effective electoral majority.