Trump’s judicial nominee to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is District of Colombia Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This should be of great concern to workers throughout the country especially after the Court’s 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, which stripped away decades of settled law when it ruled government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions to help pay for the costs of representing them. Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, observed, “Kavanaugh routinely rules against working families” and denies “employees’ relief from discrimination in the workplace.” In 2012, a Washington Post columnist described Kavanaugh as “nothing more than a partisan shock trooper in a black robe waging an ideological battle against government regulation.” A look at Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record suggests that if confirmed by the Senate, he would be far more conservative than Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the seat he would replace. This means that should Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination be approved by the Senate, he would likely push SCOTUS further in the direction of favoring Big Business over the rights of workers to unionize, and to have a safe workplace free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
American Fed. Of Gov’t Employees, AFL-CIO v. Gates, 486 F.3d 1316 (D.C. Cir. 2007), Kavanaugh authored the majority opinion that reversed the lower court’s partial blocking of Department of Defense (DOD) regulations, which had found that many of the Pentagon’s regulations would “entirely eviscerate collective bargaining.”
Agri Processor Co. v. N.L.R.B., 514 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2008) Kavanaugh dissented from a decision that ordered a company to bargain with a union, reasoning that the employees were ineligible to vote as undocumented immigrants.