In Split Decisions, Judge Kavanaugh Sided With Corporations 87% of the Time

By Rick Claypool
Public Citizen

During his 12 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh decided or wrote an opinion against the public interest 87 percent of the time in split-decision cases in five key areas, including consumer, environmental and worker rights cases, Public Citizen found in a report (PDF) released today.

Kavanaugh has participated in more than 1,000 cases and written hundreds of opinions while on the court of appeals, most of which were decided by three-judge panels. A significant proportion of those cases were decided on a 3-0 basis, which often reflected consensus among judges across the political spectrum. In other cases, the judges disagreed with one another and therefore issued 2-1 decisions.

Of the 101 split-decision cases involving Kavanaugh, Public Citizen analyzed his decisions and opinions in five areas: consumer and regulatory issues and administrative law, environmental protection, worker rights, claims alleging police or human rights abuses, and antitrust. The report found that Kavanaugh has overwhelmingly reached conclusions favorable to business interests and opposed to consumers, workers, environmental protectionsand victims of human rights abuses:

  • In 18 of 22 cases involving consumer and regulatory issues or matters of administrative law, Kavanaugh sided with corporations against agencies, or with agencies against public-interest challengers.
  • In 11 of 13 environmental cases, Kavanaugh sided with corporations or states challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or other federal agencies for being too protective of the environment, or against environmental groups seeking stronger environmental enforcement.
  • In 15 of 17 cases involving worker rights, Kavanaugh sided with employers against employees or employees’ unions, or with employers against the National Labor Relations Board.
  • In seven of seven cases involving victims suing for compensation over police or human rights abuses, Kavanaugh sided with the alleged abuser and against the victims.
  • In two oftwo cases, Kavanaugh sided with merging companies and against antitrust enforcement agencies.

Additionally, the report found that during his tenure, Kavanaugh has:

  • Been inconsistent on the issue of deference to agency action;
  • Favored a standard benefitting corporations on the issue of standing;
  • Imposed high bars to citizen access to the courts, but treated corporations differently;
  • Opposed independent agencies; and
  • Been highly skeptical of civil rights claims.

For detailed analysis and the full list of cases reviewed, read the full report.

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Reposted from Public Citizen

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Federal Minimum Wage Reaches Disappointing Milestone

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

A disgraceful milestone occurred last Sunday, June 16.

That date officially marked the longest period that the United States has gone without increasing federal the minimum wage.

That means Congress has denied raises for a decade to 1.8 million American workers, that is, those workers who earn $7.25 an hour or less. These 1.8 million Americans have watched in frustration as Congress not only denied them wages increases, but used their tax dollars to raise Congressional pay. They continued to watch in disappointment as the Trump administration failed to keep its promise that the 2017 tax cut law would increase every worker’s pay by $4,000 per year.

More than 12 years ago, in May 2007, Congress passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. It took effect two years later. Congress has failed to act since then, so it has, in effect, now imposed a decade-long wage freeze on the nation’s lowest income workers.

To combat this unjust situation, minimum wage workers could rally and call their lawmakers to demand action, but they’re typically working more than one job just to get by, so few have the energy or patience.

The Economic Policy Institute points out in a recent report on the federal minimum wage that as the cost of living rose over the past 10 years, Congress’ inaction cut the take-home pay of working families.  

At the current dismal rate, full-time workers receiving minimum wage earn $15,080 a year. It was virtually impossible to scrape by on $15,080 a decade ago, let alone support a family. But with the cost of living having risen 18% over that time, the situation now is far worse for the working poor. The current federal minimum wage is not a living wage. And no full-time worker should live in poverty.

While ignoring the needs of low-income workers, members of Congress, who taxpayers pay at least $174,000 a year, are scheduled to receive an automatic $4,500 cost-of-living raise this year. Congress increased its own pay from $169,300 to $174,000 in 2009, in the middle of the Great Recession when low income people across the country were out of work and losing their homes. While Congress has frozen its own pay since then, that’s little consolation to minimum wage workers who take home less than a tenth of Congressional salaries.

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A Friendly Reminder

A Friendly Reminder