Matthew Chapman Profile picture
Jun 26, 2018 15 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
One of the only big opinions left for #SCOTUS to issue is #Janus, where plaintiffs seek to ban security fees for all public unions.

Unions are widely expected to lose. But pay close attention to HOW they lose. The reasoning the Court uses matters a lot.
Let me explain.

The prior case law on this issue is Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. In that ruling, #SCOTUS said security fees are not compelled speech — as long as they don't fund political activity, and unions keep a firewall between bargaining and political campaigning.
In other words, #SCOTUS said if a union is campaigning for a political candidate, that's compelled speech, and workers not in the union can't be made to pay fees for that purpose — BUT if they're using the money to bargain contracts for workers, that's not speech and is allowed.
Flash forward to this case. In #Janus, the plaintiffs argue that, contrary to the ruling in Abood, even just being made to pay security agreements that do *not* fund political causes is compelled speech, and therefore the entire public sector should be made right to work.
In theory that is terrible news for public-sector unions, which are by far the biggest chunk of unionized workers in America and, like all unions, by law bargain for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions for their whole industry, even for workers who are not members.
But as I said, even if we accept as a done deal that #SCOTUS is going to rule against unions, the reasoning they use matters a lot.

Are they just going to invalidate these fees, or are they going to invalidate the entire legal firewall between bargaining and political activity?
Or put another way: is #SCOTUS going to rule that these security fees intended for collective bargaining are inseparable from funds that go to support political speech? Or are the going to rule that collective bargaining *itself* is free speech?
If the latter happened, THAT would be a Pandora's Box.

Decades of conservative businesses and politicians have restricted union activity on the legal premise there is *not* a First Amendment right to bargain. If there suddenly is, all those laws could then face new challenges.
For instance, if collective bargaining is speech, much of the Taft-Hartley Act's prohibitions on general and solidarity strikes, Scott Walker's Act 10, and tons of state and municipal lobbying laws would probably be unconstitutional.…
In fact, unions already know that this could be a potential unintended consequence of #Janus that could actually benefit them.

Multiple unions are ready to go with new federal lawsuits striking down bargaining regulations on free-speech grounds.…
The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the conservative justices (and Gorsuch the squatter) will make an effort to avoid ruling against unions on broad grounds like the plaintiffs are asking for. For that reason.

They'll try something crafty.
I think every justice right of Kennedy, at least, will want to find a legal doctrine that both rules public sector fees impermissible AND somehow maintains the Abood status quo that collective bargaining isn't free speech.

The question is, can they? And if so, what will it be?
It's worth noting that NIFLA v. Becerra, which was issued today, posed a similar dilemma for the conservatives: how to strike down crisis pregnancy center disclosure laws without also creating precedent to challenge right-wing "informed consent" regulations on abortion doctors?
Clarence Thomas' answer was essentially just to bullshit his way through. He basically decreed, informed consent laws don't compel speech but CPC posting laws do, because I say so.

Who knows? Maybe the Court's ruling in #Janus will have similar intellectual shallowness.
I guess my point is to say that even when right-wing judicial activists have the numbers to impose their will in the courts, as now, they still have to grapple with tough questions that require them to cover their bases.

Let's see how well they do it this time. #SCOTUS

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More from @fawfulfan

Oct 5, 2018
One of the most infuriating things about the whole Dr. Ford affair is that the media has completely let Republicans get away with their lie, over and over again, that there is "no corroborating evidence" to support her allegation.
Republicans have basically moved the goalposts to define "corroborating evidence" as just eyewitnesses, physical evidence, and that's it.

Actually, corroborating evidence is *anything* that supports a person's account.
The therapist notes from Dr. Ford's session in 2012 are corroborating evidence for her story. As is the July 1st entry on Kavanaugh's calendar. As would be Mark Judge's employment records at Safeway.

None of these things *prove* her story, but they do *corroborate* it.
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What pisses me off about arguments like this is not just the minimization of rape. It's the entire premise that Kavanaugh has some fundamental right to be on the Supreme Court because he won the lottery of birth and rose through politics through his connections and family wealth.
I mean, when @bariweiss laments that something he did when he was 17 could take away his future, what's being taken from him is something 99.9999999% of Americans will never have, a great many of whom would be just as smart as he is if they had the educational opportunity.
This is part of a broader idea in our culture that the powerful have a right to be powerful.

That's the opposite of how it should be. We should *constantly* question what right the powerful have to their power. Especially those who earn it from privilege.
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Sep 5, 2018
This is certainly a moral flaw in Kavanaugh, but it's also a deeper flaw in our entire standard for who should be appointed to federal courts.

We overvalue prestigiousness of credentials and undervalue real world experience.
I'd happily accept more judges on the federal bench whose law degrees aren't Ivy League and who didn't clerk for the existing Washington judges, but who, say, ran a nonprofit for battered women, or served as a public defender in a rural place a million miles from anywhere.
I want more federal judges who have had to deal with true hardship and problems in their lives, or at the very least, who have spent a good portion of their careers helping those who do.

People who have been on the end of the failures of our social, political, and legal systems.
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Sep 4, 2018
Nice fake history.

Actually, public universities were first created in the U.S. in the early 1800s, and many state run land-grant schools established under the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 initially offered free tuition.

Many still did in the 1930s.…
In fact, @MorlockP, tuition costs began exploding in the 1970s for two reasons: state governments started slashing taxes that previously went toward funding public universities, and the federal government started creating privately-run middlemen to handle lending and collections.
There were other reasons as well: the economy started phasing out low-skilled factory jobs, causing an explosion in the number of people who need a college degree, and the rise of the for-profit sector like ITT and Corinthian that investigators revealed as billion-dollar scams.
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Aug 31, 2018
The most stunning part of this is not that @GlennKesslerWP considers a black kid playing with a toy "armed," although that's certainly bad enough.

It's that he doesn't even seem to get what makes shootings of unarmed black children by police a social problem in the first place.
Kessler seems to think if the rate of unarmed black kids being shot by police is not high enough that it can be expressed per 100,000 people, it can't possibly be a "frightening level" as @BetoORourke said.

He misses the point. Beto wasn't talking about a quantitative hazard.
By @GlennKesslerWP's standard, lynching was never occurring at a "frightening level" either. "Only" 4,000 people were lynched in the South between 1877 and 1950.

The point of terrorist acts like lynching isn't the body count. The point is that it makes everyone else obey.
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Which is basically what liberals are complaining about too.

@jack is more concerned with "showing that we are not adding our own bias" than really applying the rules consistently, because so many right wing extremists are on his platform that real enforcement would look biased.
Here's the problem.

We have reached a point where enforcing Twitter's rules as written is incompatible with Twitter execs' desire to insulate their company from complaints from conservatives.

Because conservatives are just plain more likely to abuse the rules than liberals.
If Twitter rules require suspending accounts that direct abusive language against a particular group, and prominent conservative Twitter accounts are retweeting literal Nazi content, Twitter can't have it both ways.

Either they throw out the rules or they piss off conservatives.
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