Why the Supreme Court matters for workers

Source: Michele Gilman, The Conversation, October 31, 2016

…..Almost five decades of a conservative Court majority have sharply limited the rights of workers to unionize, form class actions and fight discrimination. The results have been profound and help explain the deterioration of the working class and the rise of economic inequality in recent decades.

The court is now in a 4-4 split between liberal and conservative justices. The Senate’s refusal to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia means it’s likely the next occupant of the Oval Office will get to pick who fills that seat – and possibly several more. That will determine the kind of court Americans have for years or even decades to come.

Conservative appointments by a President Trump would likely continue the decimation of workplace justice, particularly collective efforts to improve working conditions and pay. As I have documented, a look back at some of the court’s recent rulings shows how…..
Related:
Workers, the Courts, and the Election
Source: Andrew Strom, OnLabor blog, November 3, 2016

….When it comes to the courts, the media has a tendency to focus on gun control, abortion rights, and to a lesser extent, LGBTQ rights. While these issues are important to many voters including workers, the media pays far less attention to a set of issues of major relevance to all workers; namely, worker protection laws. And when it comes to worker protection, it matters enormously which party controls judicial appointments. While there are, of course, plenty of cases where judges appointed by Republican Presidents rule in favor of workers, there are also many close (and sometimes not so close) cases where judges make value judgments, and in doing so, they can either view a case from the perspective of a worker or an employer……