One More High Court Vote Would Give Big Labor an Opportunity
(Source: November-December 2016 National Right To Work Newsletter)
Undoubtedly fearing they would provoke a harsh public backlash if they did, top union bosses aren’t talking publicly about the spectacular judicial prize they intend to win if Big Labor candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) is elected the next President of the United States.
But some of the union hierarchy’s incautious allies, such as former American Federation of Teachers (AFT/AFL-CIO) Deputy Director of Organizing Shaun Richman, have already let the cat out of the bag.
Writing for the avowedly socialist publication In These Times this April, Mr. Richman gloated about the potential impact of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) v. Wasden, a then-obscure lawsuit pending before a federal judge in Idaho:
“The result could be that all right-to-work laws are nullified — and sooner than you might imagine.”
‘Big Labor Sees a Chance to Kill Right to Work Before It Spreads to Even More States’
“Union bosses are flabbergasted and outraged about the fact that a majority of states have now adopted laws prohibiting forced union dues and fees,” said National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.
“Even more worrisome for the union brass is that four of the 26 state Right to Work laws that are now on the books were adopted just since the beginning of 2012.
“Moreover, several more states — including Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire — are poised to prohibit compulsory union financial support over the course of the next few years.
“But Big Labor sees a chance to kill Right to Work before it spreads to even more states. Union kingpins are jumping at the opportunity.
“Of course, union strategists know that their scheme to ‘nullify’ every single state Right to Work law through judicial activism in the near future can’t possibly succeed without the installation of another U.S. Supreme Court justice who would side with Organized Labor on controversial matters.
“That’s where Hillary Clinton comes in.”
Four members of the High Court today — Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor — are plainly predisposed to ruling in favor of expanded monopoly privileges for the union hierarchy.
Ms. Clinton: ‘Organized Labor Will Have a Champion Inside The White House’
But four other current members — Justices Alito, Kennedy, Roberts and Thomas — have, perhaps thanks to the strong arguments made in their chambers over the years by National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, become more and more receptive to subjecting compulsory unionism to strict judicial scrutiny.
And since the death of Antonin Scalia in February, there has been one vacant Supreme Court seat.
Picking a nominee to fill that seat will almost certainly be one of the first tasks of the next President.
“Union bosses are spending roughly two billion dollars in this campaign cycle, mostly forced-dues dollars, to install Hillary Clinton in the White House and elect other Big Labor puppets to U.S. Senate and House seats and state offices,” said Mr. Mix.
“And Ms. Clinton is openly vowing that, if she is elected, ‘organized labor will have a champion inside the White House.’
“For these and other reasons, union bosses have ample reason to believe they can count on a President Clinton to nominate and get confirmed a fifth justice who will join the Breyer-Ginsburg- Kagan-Sotomayor clique on cases concerning Big Labor special privileges.
“If that happens, Right to Work Foundation attorneys and their allies will continue to do everything possible to block IUOE Local 370 and other similar cases from reaching the Supreme Court, or to defeat such a case there if necessary.
“But it could turn out to be a difficult task.”
Phony ‘Takings’ Case Against Right to Work Could Reach Supreme Court in Two Years
IUOE Local 370 and a second pending anti-Right to Work federal lawsuit target workplaces where Big Labor is empowered by law to represent all front-line employees, including union members and nonmembers alike, throughout all negotiations with the employer on matters concerning all terms of employment.
According to Big Labor lawyers, union officials in such workplaces have a constitutional right to seize forced fees from nonmembers on pain of termination if they refuse.
As Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who is leading the defense of the Gem State’s three-decade-old Right to Work law from IUOE bosses’ legal assault, has pointed out in a court filing, such statutes cannot possibly violate the Fifth Amendment’s “Takings” Clause, as union lawyers brazenly claim.
Under Idaho’s Right to Work law, IUOE and other union bosses are absolutely free to “persuade nonmembers to make voluntary payments” by convincing them that the union furnishes valuable services.
Mr. Mix commented: “Unfortunately, the fact that Big Labor’s judicial attack on Right to Work laws is illogical and in conflict with several High Court and other federal court precedents doesn’t mean it will fail.
“Within a year or so, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the most radically pro-forced unionism federal appellate court in the U.S., could take up IUOE Local 370. Despite the merits, I wouldn’t bet that this court will rule against the union bosses.”
Right to Work Leaders Are Already Preparing For the Worst
“And if such a ruling comes down, Big Labor’s ‘doomsday’ weapon against Right to Work laws will, within another year, likely be headed to the Supreme Court,” warned Mr. Mix.
He added that he and other Committee leaders are already preparing for a “worst-case” scenario in which Hillary Clinton is elected and proceeds to nominate a judge with a record of forced-unionism bias for the open seat on the Supreme Court.
“Decades of electoral experience show that the American people routinely punish politicians who try to protect and expand compulsory unionism,” he observed.
“But in a massive presidential race, only a candidate and his campaign have access to hundreds of millions of dollars to hold a rival accountable for his anti-Right to Work record.
“GOP nominee Donald Trump has pledged he will support Right to Work 100% if elected. But so far he and his campaign have basically given Hillary Clinton a free ride on the Right to Work issue.
“That’s one reason why it is so important that Right to Work activists be prepared now, in case the Clinton-Kaine ticket wins in November, to fight furiously next year to stop Senate confirmation of a fifth union-label justice on the Supreme Court.”