Monday, July 27, 2015

WashPo Calls Friedrichs "Bush v. Gore II"

The Washington Post seemed comfortable buoying the enfeebled efforts of Big Labor.

The latest political commentary to come forward about the Friedrichs v. California decision suggest that the Supreme Court will tip its hand in some unfair way, as if SCOTUS is going to overthrow the popular elective franchise.

The following title from Harold Meyerson, who also runs the "PostPartisan Blog", suggest as much and more:

Is the Supreme Court headed for ‘Bush v. Gore’ II?

Opinion writer   

About a month ago, the Supreme Court closed out its term in a blaze of nonpartisan glory. Or nonpartisan obloquy, depending on one’s reaction to the court’s legalization of same-sex marriage and its upholding of Obamacare — but nonpartisan either way. A court with a Republican-appointed majority upheld a Democratic president’s health insurance program and a marital policy that most Republican officeholders felt obliged to oppose (even if most Republican political consultants felt relieved to see gay marriage rendered a fait accompli).

Nonpartisan glory? I don't think so. Anthony Kennedy has conspicuously placed himself as a swing  justice so that he can wield untold press authority. People are constantly wondering what he ad one or two other justices are going to say about this or that issue. Why should this small set of bad lawyers in black dresses be deciding so many issues in the first place? For the record, gay marriage is not a fait accompli  no more than abortion.
But that was then. In the term that will begin this fall, the court has a splendid opportunity to deliver the most partisan decision it has rendered since Bush v. Gore. When the court rules in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association , which will be argued in the coming months, the Republican-appointed justices will be able, if they so choose, to create a long-term advantage for their party over the Democrats.

Why would the decision be partisan? The same set of justices would render a decision which the author does not agree with.
Friedrichs is a case brought by a California teacher who objects to paying dues to the union that has bargained the contract that secures her pay and benefits. The union does not collect any money from her to support its political activities, but, by virtue of the court’s 1977 Abood decision, and hundreds of later decisions based on Abood, she is obliged to pay that portion of her dues that goes to bargaining and administering her contract.

I have never read such a bold-faced fraud: "The union does not collect any money from her to support its political activities." Oh yes it does! Many teachers have to endure seeing their money taken from them and then diverted to these offensive causes. Teachers unions spend the  money on flyers and political ads to stop school choice and vouchers, to close down charter schools and to prevent school boards from enact teacher reforms to grant higher pay but without tenure.
Rebecca Friedrich

Last year, however, in an opinion breathtaking for its chutzpah, Justice Samuel Alito invited union opponents to bring a challenge to Abood before the court. The case in which he ruled — Harris v. Quinn — concerned whether home-care workers, employed jointly by individuals and the state of Illinois and covered by a union contract, were required to pay dues. While the majority confined its ruling to home-care workers, Alito devoted most of his opinion to arguing that no public employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement should be required to pay dues.

Good for Alito. It is time for the Supreme Court to reverse its perverse ruling in the Abood case. The Court has been wrong many times before, and here is another example. The  basic argument that members of the union would become free riders is just not true. Members are forced riders, since they cannot choose another endorsement or bargaining unit on their behalf. They seek a job, and are told up front that they must join a union in order to keep the job. That is not a free rid, that is a coerced jaunt.
On the final day of its term last month, the court accepted that challenge by announcing it would hear Friedrichs. Friedrichs’s proponents argue that the case is about the free-speech rights of public employees who don’t want to support the union that represents them. The reason the union represents them at all, of course, is that a majority of the employees in their unit have voted to give the union that power — and they can vote to strip it of that power if they so choose. Absent effective union representation — a real possibility should the court reverse Abood and the union’s resources diminish — they lose the one kind of speech that most matters to workers: the collective voice that workers gain through unions and that enables them to bargain with their managers.

Members who join unions because the terms of employment have not voted on the union. Many times, they are not permitted to. The recertification process gets frustrated over and over. Individual teachers have often reported
As private-sector unions have dwindled in the face of four decades of employer opposition, public-sector unions have become the nation’s largest and most powerful labor organizations, its leading advocates for a fairer economy and, come election time, a significant source of the legwork for get-out-the-vote operations for progressive Democratic candidates. Their concerns extend well beyond their members’ immediate welfare. The Service Employees International Union, for instance, is the main funder and organizer of campaigns to raise the minimum wage for low-paid (almost entirely non-union) workers and has played a central role in the battle to legalize undocumented immigrants. All the large public-sector unions have devoted significant resources to opposing Republican-backed state laws that suppress minority voter turnout. For decades, they’ve financed and mounted voter registration and turnout campaigns among their own members and in minority communities.
Meyerson does not realize it, but he has given a number of reasons why public sector union bullying has to stop. They are supporting egregious, left-wing agendas which have nothing to do with working conditions, rights, pay, or other workplace issues.
Unions, both public and private, have taken their power to unjust lengths, taking money from working people without their consent and pushing illiberal, even anti-worker agendas. For example,  a number of unions support immigration ""reform", read amnesty. Such policies would hurt local and statewide communities because it would upend the rule of law and drag on the public sector. 40% of union members are Republicans, and they are pro-life and pro-marriage, yet unions support Planned Parenthood and homosexual marriage. These are offensive policies, and indeed individual workers' First Amendment rights are getting trampled on.

Before it took on its nonpartisan patina at the end of its last term, the court, led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., had already tilted the political playing field toward Republicans by striking down key portions of the Voting Rights Act and extending a string of rulings that are drowning our elections in billionaire dollars, thereby creating policies (for instance, our tax code) that only a billionaire could love. Ruling for the plaintiff in Friedrichs would whack not only labor — for all its weaknesses, the nation’s only real anti-plutocratic force — but the Democrats as well. Bush v. Gore decided a single election. Should the GOP-appointed justices go partisan again, Friedrichs could decide elections for years to come.
The specious comparison of Friedrichs with Bush v. Gore demonstrates the heavy partisanship of this "PostPartisan" blogger. Bush v. Gore was a one-time election flap because of mismanaged voting issues in a few Florida counties. Seven of the nine justices ruled to stop the recount: more than post-partisan. Friedrichs is a policy issue, more than partisan. It's about the Constitution. Should First Amendment rights be trumped by Big Labor?

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