Saturday, September 8, 2012

Are Both GOP and Democratic Party-Appointed Judges Anti-Labor?

Some U.S. labor union officials are apparently still going to spend a lot of their labor union members' money on helping to fund the campaigns of certain Democratic Party politicians. Yet there's apparently some historical evidence that, when the lawyers for U.S. labor unions oppose the anti-labor policies of U.S. corporate managers in the U.S. courtroom, judges appointed by Democratic Party elected officials are often as likely as judges appointed by GOP-elected officials to make anti-labor judicial decisions. As Joe Burns' 2011 book Reviving The Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America observed:

"...While today's trade unionists have had no trouble recognizing the clear anti-worker bias present in the judicial appointees of convervative presidnts such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, many fail to see that Democratic-appointed judges are no friends of working people either. While Democratic appointees may differ from their Republican counterparts on issues that reside on the periphery of labor law, such as whether graduate students are eligible to join unions, on the questions paramount to the labor movement--whether unions should be allowed to engage in effective strike tactics, the mobility of capital, and the outlawing of solidarity--one finds little disagreements among judges, no matter their party affiliation.

"Because of this, the system of labor control cannot be altered simply by electing new politicians, or appointing different judges...Merely electing Democrats instead of Republicans will not change the basic rules of bargaining...There is no evidence that Democratic judicial appointees are even interested in altering the fundamentals of labor policy. Federal judges, and in particular, those who make it to the Federal Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court, are not drawn from the ranks of progressive lawyers. Whether appointed by Democrats or Republicans, they tend, at best, to be corporate liberals sympathetic to the arguments of business. They are not the sort to wrench the steering wheel soldily in labor's direction by reversing Supreme Court decisions reaching back a half century....

"...Even in the unlikely event that the Supreme Court were to reconsider many of its past labor decisions, it is highly unlikely that Democratic appointees to the Court could be counted on to make the sharp turn in labor policy necessary to restore the right to engage in effective strike tactics.

"Nor can changing membership of the National Labor Relations Board help the labor movement, as...Democratic appointees have shown no inclination to radically change direction. And, even if they were, their rulings are subject to review by the federal courts..."

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