Thursday, July 21, 2016

Justice Scalia, Ye Left Us Much Too Soon

A recent Supreme Court ruling illustrated just how much
the recently departed Justice Antonin Scalia's absence is
being felt, and how it has affected and will continue to affect
SCOTUS rulings until Scalia's seat is filled by a conserva-
tive appointee, provided that we succeed in electing a
conservative presidential candidate in November.

The eight justices remaining on the Court split evenly on
a closely watched First Amendment case whose upshot is
that public employee unions can continue to force public
employees to pay "agency fees" even if they choose not to
join a union. What this ruling means is that public employees
will still be made to pay something similar to union dues to
the union who represents their co-workers who have chosen to
join the union, because the union claims to represent and bargain
for all of the employees in said workplace. It matters not that
the non-union member workers may not be happy with the
compensation packages or any other features in the contract
bargained for by the union, that they believe they could
obtain something with points more to their satisfaction
without the union speaking for them; they are all, in a
manner of speaking, "locked in" to the workplace status quo.
The justices stated in a one-sentence opinion: "The judgement
is affirmed by an equally divided Court", a 4-4 tie which
lets a lower court decision stand, also leaving in place
the Court's 1977 precedent, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education,
which allowed the deduction of fees even if the employees
object to how the money they paid is spent. The recent ruling
pertaining to the California public school teachers and their
battle with their union creates no precedent, so the First
Amendment issues at this case's core will be around for
rehearing in a future case. But oh, if only the justices had
reversed Abood! Justice Samuel Alito was quite willing,
but the brakes were applied by Chief Justice John Roberts,
the same justice who let Obamacare stand by inexplicably and
illogically calling it a "tax"(!). It appears that Chief Justice
Roberts wanted to move "incrementally" --- even in overturning
bad Supreme Court errors that resulted in questionable rulings.
The incrementalism could work, provided that the Court retains
a center-right majority, which it had while Justice Scalia lived.
But unless a conservative Republican is elected president in
the fall, a Democrat president will appoint a liberal justice,
giving the Court a center-left majority whose influence will
be felt, uninterrupted, for many years to come. This is
precisely why Republicans want to hold off on picking a
replacement for Justice Scalia until after the election, so that
the voters can have a say as to who the next president will be
and will therefore get to nominate a candidate for that seat.
The people would thus be, in effect, choosing both our next
president and our next Supreme Court Justice. Although
this idea gets the Democrats' undies in a twist, your aware
Peasant thinks it only fair, as the people can decide upon
which ideology should be the guiding factor in the kind
of government we are to have from this year's election
forward. If they choose liberal governance by electing a
Democrat for president, then the Dems can rest easy; they
will have gotten what they want via the expressed will of
the people and that will be that. If the electorate chooses
conservative governance by placing a Republican in the
White House, then the Democrats will have to wait for
their next opportunity to put a liberal on the Court ---
and likely will have to wait for quite a while.

So this is what is at stake with the passing of Justice
Antonin Scalia, a conservative jurist and First Amendment
champion, and the timing of his death coinciding with a
presidential election year. All the more reason for we
conservatives to turn out to vote, in as large a force as we
can muster.


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