With confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh scheduled to begin Tuesday, twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton devoted her Labor Day morning calling for resistance of what looks to be a fait accompli.
Republicans hold the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and the White House, so Democrats can do little but grumble, grouse, and harangue — and that’s just what the former secretary of state did.
She posted a total of 10 tweets — all at 9:48 am, EDT — indicating that she drafted them earlier and copied and sent them one on top of the other.
"Happy Labor Day," Clinton began, though the statements that followed clearly indicated she really didn’t mean it. "There's no better time to talk about why workers’ rights would suffer if Brett Kavanaugh, whose hearings for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court start tomorrow, is confirmed."
Clinton posted the nine tweets that followed as replies to her first.
"The Roberts Court has dealt some big blows to workers and unions in the last few years," she continued. "With Kavanaugh on the Court, a 5-4 hard-right majority would be even more aggressive in siding with corporations over people."
Although some recent decisions infuriated trade unions, they were also huge wins for employees. Then she got to a specific case.
"The Court's ruling in Janus v. AFSCME earlier this summer overturned a 40-year-old precedent to hold that public-sector workers with union contracts don't have to pay fees for collective bargaining expenses if they're not members."
And why should workers who have no interest in joining a union want to pay union dues?
Incidentally, Janus was a 5-4 decision. Had Kavanaugh been on the high court instead of retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, the vote wouldn’t have changed one bit — it would still have been 5-4. "That ruling won't just hurt seven million public-sector union workers with contracts. It'll hurt all workers, because union deals on wages and working conditions affect what businesses without unions do, too."
Union dues also contribute to union political activities — activities with which many employees have disagreements. Even liberal former President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced public sector unions as "unthinkable and intolerable."
Clinton continued, "The Court has also recently granted corporations the right to deny workers reproductive health care and made it harder for workers to sue businesses by allowing companies to force employees to sign mandatory arbitration clauses with their contracts."
Here we go with the "reproductive health care" non-issue again. Whatever happened to the days when people were responsible for their own birth control measures?
"In other words, the Court has already been widening the disparity in power between corporations and workers. Kavanaugh's record from his time as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia shows he'd help further that trend for a generation," Clinton said, and then cherry-picked a few of Kavanaugh’s decisions.
"In 2007, Kavanaugh wrote an opinion that severely limited union rights and allowed major damage to federal workers' ability to bargain collectively."
Again, government workers have no need for trade unions. In the words of former AFLCIO president George Meany, “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
Clinton continued, "In 2014, he dissented in a case where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration held SeaWorld accountable for the death of a trainer."
Kavanaugh argued that people who in high-risk professions like training killer whales, should assume much of the risk -- much like professional athletes and race car drivers.
He said the Department of Labor (DOL) "Cannot reasonably distinguish close contact with whales at SeaWorld from tackling in the NFL or speeding in NASCAR."
So does Clinton want us to fundamentally change professional sports?
"In 2016, Kavanaugh held that corporations have the right to punish workers for displaying pro-union signs in their cars," Clinton said.
Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion in Verizon New England v. NLRB, a case in which the union waived any right to picket Verizon. Given that set of circumstances, Verizon was correct in prohibiting pro-union signage on their property. There was no "punishment" involved.
"Unions and labor movements are why we have workplace safety precautions, collective bargaining, weekends, minimum wages, and, yes, Labor Day," Clinton began her final tweet.
"We can't afford more damage to workers' rights. Make sure your senators hear from you: Let's #StopKavanaugh," she concluded.
In 2010, when Republican leadership complained about being steamrolled on the passage of the Affordable Care act — Obamacare — then-President Barack Obama curtly replied, "elections have consequences" and "I won."
And at the end of the day, Trump won, Clinton lost. Time to move on.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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