USW Opposes Trump's Pick for Supreme Court

Written by Tim Triplett

Add the United Steelworkers to the list of those opposed to President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

President Trump announced Kavanaugh’s selection on Monday, commenting that “what matters most is not a judge’s political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require.” Upon accepting the nomination, Kavanaugh stated, “If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case and I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”

USW International President Leo Gerard is not buying it. “Working families cannot tolerate another corporate apologist on the U.S. Supreme Court, fawning over CEOs and stomping on the rights of workers,” he said. “The decisions of Judge Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit demonstrate that he deliberately elevates corporations over working people.”

Gerard pointed to two cases this year in which court rulings limited the ability of workers to come together to file class action lawsuits and that forbid unions from collecting fair share fees from public sector workers who choose not to join. “It’s crucial to working families that the vacancy on the court be filled by a mainstream jurist, not one who will support Supreme Court sessions like the last one in which the right-wing majority repeatedly subjugated workers’ rights,” Gerard said.

Kavanaugh’s opinions show him to be a rogue jurist far to the right of the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, Gerard said, noting that Kavanaugh participated in the highest number of dissents per year of any judge on the D.C. Circuit. “In too many of those dissents, Kavanaugh has argued against workers’ right to be represented by labor unions, their right not to be killed by unsafe employer practices, and their right not to be fired for their age or race. In contrast, Kavanaugh twice wrote that a corporation should not be held accountable for misconduct overseas.

“Activist jurists like Kavanaugh, who contort the law and U.S. Constitution to conform to their political and religious positions, should return to the private practice of law, and not be promoted to the Supreme Court,” Gerard concluded.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

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