The last time conservatives tried to hurt Democrats by taking unions hostage, Scalia died and the court was split 4 to 4. You know what they say, a tie is like taking collective bargaining rights from your sister. So the new Gorsuch infused Supreme Court had to find another case to take in order to retry the same issues and this time smack unions the way Scalia would have as a gift to the GOP.
On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case designed to let the court’s five Republican appointees kneecap the Democratic Party. Everything about Janus reeks of illegitimacy. The legal claim is laughable, the outcome preordained; even the ostensible plaintiff, Mark Janus, is a puppet. At a recent event, Janus revealed that he does not understand the case at all and in fact supports collective bargaining but incorrectly thinks his union fees are supporting political campaigns. His lawyers seem to have lied to him—much like the court will soon lie to us in proclaiming that the First Amendment somehow prohibits the agency fees at issue in this case. Don’t believe it. The conservative justices can dress up their gibberish in whatever legalese they wish. The reality will remain that Janus is a partisan vehicle designed to serve partisan goals, carried across the finish line by five justices who might as well admit that the Constitution has nothing to do with it.
The worst part of this pantomime is that the conservatives on the court will decide, with no irony or recognition of their hypocrisy that they are subtly removing their provisos to Citizens United. In that travesty of a mockery of two shams of a travesty, the justices that decided that money is speech and it’s okay to allow as much of it as possible rationalized that the upshot of their decision would have little effect on the nation because all things are equal. There are millionaires, billionaires and large corporations for the Republicans and there are unions for the Democrats. Even Steven. (Roll eyes)
That was ridiculous on its face at the time. Now the court endeavors to remove whatever disproportionate institutional counterbalance the monied interests of our great nation had by hamstringing unions further. There is no money counterbalance except maybe those millions of small dollar donations that Democrats rely on because of having better, more rational and sound ideas of governing. What Republicans, through their legal lapdogs like the Federalist Society, are trying to do is make it so that having the better ideas won’t matter. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, propaganda broadcasting (domestic and Russian), and swamping the Democrats with money, are designed to keep them in office despite being a minority.
And if they do lose an election they can still exercise their judgment over government by dominating courts.
Stealing a Supreme Court seat should have been a marching, screaming, #NeverAgain moment.