If you support unions, and you support Progressive Action, and you’re still undecided about who to vote for in this year’s presidential election, here is one very important reason why we should hold our noses and vote for Hillary Clinton this year: the Supreme Court.
Fans of this show should be aware of the impact of the Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Associations on unions. Conservative anti-union groups were able to recruit three people to legally contest the right of public sector unions to collect agency fees from members of a bargaining unit that elect not to pay union dues.
The justification for this right, as set in a past case, Abood vs. Detroit Board of Education, is that if public sector unions are required by law to represent and defend members that don’t support them as an organization, then the organization has a right to be reimbursed for the cost of representing them.
The plaintiffs in Friedrichs were seeking to overturn this ruling in a Supreme Court that was set to remove this lifeline from unions, which would have forced unions to spend time and money on bargaining unit members withholding the financial resources needed for unions to function, eventually weakening them severely.
Then conservative Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, leaving the Supreme Court with a 4-4 tie, reverting to the lower court’s decision, which upheld the Abood decision. With Congress determined to deprive President Obama of a Supreme Court confirmation for ridiculous and unprecedented reasons, the next president is poised to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court.
As someone who voted for and endorsed Bernie Sanders, I completely understand the reservations of those that are wary of Clinton’s corporate ties, and past support for the Iraq war and conservative domestic policies. She is a waffling, triangulating, compromising moderate Democrat that still can’t shake herself out of the delusion that racist, sexist Republicans are somehow open to working with them, much like Charlie Brown trying in vain to kick the football. I know.
These characteristics are indeed very similar to President Obama, and even more similar to her husband, Bill. So let’s look at their track records. Despite all the triangulating that resulted in the olive branch repeatedly being swatted out of their hands by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Mitch McConnell, Bill Clinton and Obama still was able to give us Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. So, if you look at their track records, there is at least one thing that progressives could count on: progressive Supreme Court appointments.
In this election, we are faced with the choice of a billionaire who notoriously stiffs his workers and said that wages are too high versus a candidate that eventually evolved on raising the minimum wage after pressure from unions and grassroots organizations. To me, the choice is clear. On the appointment of a fifth progressive, pro-union justice, I trust Hillary Clinton.
For union members, the existence of our unions is on the ballot. A vote for Trump will be a vote for a conservative Supreme Court that will revisit Friedrichs and deliver the final and fatal blow to unions that billionaires and conservatives have been striving for for over 40 years.
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– Jonathan Beatrice