One of the strongest arguments for conservative support of Donald Trump during the campaign came down to two words: Supreme Court. And as Trump’s presidency is yet to result in any substantial legislative success from a conservative perspective, the strongest argument to justify conservatives having helped elect him are these two words: Neil Gorsuch.
And an upcoming case going before that Court, one that has the potential to dismantle a significant coerced funding scheme for the Democrat Party, will only strengthen that argument.
The case, Janus v. AFSCME, puts before the Supremes a simple question: can government works be compelled to fund an inherently political organization as a condition of their employment? The answer would seem self-evident to anyone with a lick of constitutional sense. But ever since a 1977 case that ordered even non-union employees in the public sector to pay “agency fees” to the operating union, that’s exactly what has been happening.
It’s true that such workers have been able to “opt out” of funding the explicitly political lobbying arm of the union, but let’s not be kids. If your money is going to turn the lights on or pay for the janitors at the union’s national convention where explicitly political activity is being conducted, or if your money is going to pay the salary of directors and officials who are the radical leftists setting the political agenda for the union, you are being forced to contribute to political activity you may disagree with as a condition of your employment.
That is what four of the Supreme Court justices ruled in a recent 2014 case. Justice Scalia would have held the deciding vote in favor of dismantling this corrupt Democrat/union racket before he passed away. After his death, the court remained deadlocked at 4-4. Neil Gorsuch is almost guaranteed to come down precisely on the same side as the man he has replaced, meaning the coerced contributions from all government employees into the coffers of the Democrat Party is likely to end soon.
And the left is unsurprisingly livid about it. Amongst their tantrums was this from the “Justice Editor” (whatever that may mean) for the left-wing blog ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser:
“Just so we’re clear what’s going on here, the GOP is using its stolen SCOTUS seat to devastate a major source of Democratic political power.”
First, believing that the Gorsuch seat is stolen requires one to not understand the Constitution. Obviously Millhiser understands the Constitution, so he uses this terminology because he doesn’t want other people to understand the Constitution. But set that aside and focus on what he’s saying: government coerced dues from unwilling workers is a “major source of Democratic political power.” Not the power of their ideas that have persuaded people, but money coerced from people against their will. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s something liberals really want to admit.
Then there was MSNBC’s Chris Hayes:
“We literally all know exactly how Gorsuch will vote on this case.”
We also literally all know that this is supposed to be a criticism of Gorsuch. But Hayes leaves out what else we also literally know. We literally know exactly how Elena Kagan will vote on this case. We literally know exactly how Sonia Sotomayor will vote on this case. We literally know exactly how Ruth Bader Ginsburg will vote on this case. We literally know exactly how Stephen Breyer will vote on this case.
In fact, the oddly untold story about our Supreme Court is that the only mystery about its decisions is how the so-called “conservative” contingent will vote. Will Kennedy vote liberal like he does on many key social issues…will Chief Justice Roberts vote liberal like he did when rewriting Obamacare in order to uphold it…how closely will Gorsuch follow in Scalia’s footsteps?
There is never a single question if any of the four liberal justices of the court will step away from their ideological dogma when deciding a controversial case. It won’t ever happen and everyone seems to know and accept that.
And that’s why it’s at moments like this that the election of Donald Trump, despite all of his petulant distractions and ineffective leadership on meaningful policy, has the potential to yield at least some positive long-term effects for the good of our country.