Biden High Court Pick: Big Labor’s Go-To Judge

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s evident willingness to perform legal contortions in the service of compulsory unionism hasn’t generally won her high marks among her fellow jurists. But President Joe Biden is obviously very impressed. (Credit: White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Lawless 2018 Ruling Illustrates Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Raw Bias

In June 2018, federal union bosses went to court to overturn E.O.13837, an executive order issued by Donald Trump that wielded the President’s authority as head of the federal workforce to lessen the anti-taxpayer impact of Big Labor monopoly bargaining over federal employees.

But then-American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Chief J. David Cox and his fellow plaintiffs had a problem:

The law clearly required them to bring their case before the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) prior to going to court.

Fortunately for federal union kingpins, the U.S. district judge hearing their case was Ketanji Brown Jackson.

In August 2018, she upheld their complaint in a lawless ruling that simply ignored the case’s glaring jurisdictional flaw.

‘But That Is Not the Law’ 

In July 2019, a three-judge appellate court panel, including notable Obama appointee Sri Srinivasan, unanimously overturned Judge Jackson’s ruling in AFGE v. Trump.

In his decision, Judge Thomas Griffith showed how Judge Jackson had again and again misread the Federal Labor Relations Act and case law to reach conclusions desired by government union chiefs.

For example, Judge Jackson claimed the FLRA could be bypassed if its expertise is “potentially helpful” but “not essential” to resolving union bosses’ claims. “But that is not the law,” retorted Judge Griffith, citing a relevant precedent directly contradicting Judge Jackson’s contention.

“Ketanji Brown Jackson’s evident willingness to perform legal contortions in the service of compulsory unionism hasn’t generally won her high marks among her fellow jurists,” commented National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.

“But Judge Jackson’s fealty to Big Labor has obviously made a very favorable impression on union-label President Joe Biden.

“Last spring, just three months after taking office, Mr. Biden nominated Judge Jackson for a seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“And late this February, Mr. Biden nominated Judge Jackson to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy that will open up when Justice Stephen Breyer carries out his announced plan to step down at the conclusion of the 2021-22 Term.”

As this Newsletter edition goes to press in early April, the Committee is actively lobbying every U.S. Senator to oppose the Jackson High Court nomination on all votes, barring an unexpected commitment from her to defend fully workers’ First Amendments rights.

A Justice Jackson Could Ultimately Help Reinstate Public-Sector Forced Dues

In a letter distributed electronically to Senate offices on March 22, Mr. Mix explained the Committee’s stance:

“Nobody expects the President to appoint someone that differs from him in broad outlook. But he is expected to appoint reasonable people, capable of interpreting the law and dealing with cases according to the letter and spirit of the law they are tasked with administering.”

Based on her track record of ignoring statutory provisions and binding precedents when they stand in the way of her protecting or expanding Big Labor’s monopoly privileges, “there are serious doubts” about Judge Jackson’s ability to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the federal code as a High Court justice.

Mr. Mix noted that the prospect of a Justice Jackson is especially troubling at a time when powerful union officials are openly aiming to reinstate forced union dues and fees for millions of American public employees by overturning the High Court’s landmark 2018 ruling in Janus v.  AFSCME.

In Janus, a case argued and won by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorney Bill Messenger on behalf of an Illinois civil servant, a majority of justices correctly recognized that the First Amendment bars government unions from forcing employees to pay union dues or fees, or be fired. 

‘This Is a Battle the Committee Has to Fight’

“Thanks to the current makeup of justices sitting on the Supreme Court, Janus should not be in imminent danger,” acknowledged Mr. Mix.

“But over the course of the three decades Kentaji Brown Jackson is likely to be writing and joining in Supreme Court decisions if she is confirmed, there is a strong possibility an effort to overturn Janus will come before her.

“That’s why this is a battle the Committee has to fight, as steeply uphill as it is.” 

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. Go here to access previous newsletter posts.
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