‘Secret Judges List’ For Joe or Kamala or Liz

Big Labor lawyers like Harvard man Ben Sachs are posed to take a case designed to nullify all state Right to Work laws to the Supreme Court, as soon as they decide the time is ripe. Credit: WJCT-TV (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Tidal Wave of Anti-Right to Work Judicial Activism After 2020?

Just a few years ago, a number of vociferous champions of forced unionism were openly contemplating the effective destruction of every state Right to Work law in the country by Big Labor judicial activists on a future U.S. Supreme Court.

For example, in April 2016, former American Federation of Teachers (AFT/AFL-CIO) Deputy Director of Organizing Shaun Richman publicly gloated, in writing, about the potential impact of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) v. Wasden, a lawsuit that was then 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.”

A few months after Mr. Richman made his Wasden pitch in the Chicago-based socialist publication In These Times, Donald Trump, an avowed Right to Work supporter and advocate of judicial restraint, was elected as America’s 45th President.

With federal judicial appointments suddenly in Mr. Trump’s hands for the next four years, efforts to kill Right to Work in the courts appeared to have been derailed.

However, in 2019, they are back on track.

One More Big Labor Judicial Activist on the High Court Could Still Tip the Balance

At the time Big Labor partisans like Shaun Richman were openly speculating about a possibly imminent “nullification” of all state Right to Work laws, there were only eight justices sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court, rather than the usual nine, as a consequence of the then-recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Four of those High Court members — Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor — so consistently sided with Big Labor on controversial workplace-policy matters that it seemed very possible they would swallow the Wasden plaintiffs’ outrageous claims regarding the supposed impermissibility of Right to Work laws under the Fifth Amendment if they heard them.

Last summer, after Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch had joined the court and made it clear he would not go along with pro-forced unionism judicial activism, IUOE union lawyers withdrew Wasden.  

But Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor all remain on the Supreme Court today, and all evidently remain just as committed to assisting Big Labor by twisting the law as they ever were.

“The unexpected election of Donald Trump as President only temporarily set back the anti-Right to Work scheme by Harvard law professor Ben Sachs, the Wasden plaintiffs’ counsel of record, and other union lawyers,” said National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.

“One more Big Labor judicial activist on the High Court could still tip the balance and make Wasden-like litigation a viable strategy once again.

“And a news article published in the New York Times on June 8 shows how union lawyers and their allies are already laying the groundwork for a Big Labor judicial takeover after 2020.” 

Big Labor and Its Cohorts Won’t Be Making ‘Their Recommendations Public’

Times Washington correspondent Carl Hulse reported on “Building a Bench,” a secretive initiative spearheaded by virulent Right to Work opponent Nan Aron, the president of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Justice.

According to Mr. Hulse, along with the Alliance for Justice, a number of labor union officials in addition to other heads of “liberal advocacy groups” are “underwriting and supporting” the Building a Bench initiative.

The focus of this project is to “recommend possible successors” for federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, who retire or pass away after 2020.

The Building a Bench list of potential judicial appointees is intended to be a “guide” for a future, pro-forced unionism presidential administration.

In stark contrast to the Federalist Society, the legal organization (advocating a judicial philosophy consistent with the Right to Work principle) that helped then-candidate Donald Trump compile a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees during his 2016 campaign, the parties involved in the Building a Bench project “do not intend to make their recommendations public.”

Union Bosses Need a Judicial ‘Hail Mary’ Play

Mr. Mix commented: “With the leadership of the National Right to Work Committee, five new state Right to Work laws have been adopted and taken effect, just since 2012.

“A majority of states now have Right to Work laws. And thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus, argued successfully by Right to Work attorney Bill Messenger, public employees in all 50 states are now protected from forced union financial support.

“Big Labor needs a judicial ‘Hail Mary’ play. And that could indeed happen, depending on the outcome of the 2020 elections.”