Claiming that the Koch brothers are masterminding an unconstitutional heist, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) thinks any 5-4 Supreme Court decision, in which Justice Neil Gorsuch casts the deciding vote, should be disregarded. He said, “This is the seat that, for the first time in U.S. history, was stolen from one president and delivered to another. The majority of this body right here stole the seat undermining the integrity, dishonoring the oath, the responsibility for advice and consent, and damaging the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.” Is it possible that a senator, who says that certain court decisions shouldn’t count, is doing way more to damage the legitimacy of the Supreme Court…?
And what is Merkley’s current complaint? That Gorsuch helped American workers keep more of their money, or at least not be forced to donate to political campaigns.
To be allowed to work in certain professions, one must join a labor union (especially in non-Right to Work states). That worker is compelled to pay dues to said union. But what does the union do with those dues? In addition to their other activities, they often fund lobbying campaigns and donate to election funds. But, say someone is an electrician and must be part of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, but that this person is also pro-life. Now say (and this isn’t a stretch) that his IBEW chapter donates a large sum into the local Democratic congressional candidate’s coffers. But maybe that representative, as a congressman, voted to expand funding for Planned Parenthood. Should the pro-life person be forced to fund a pro-choice campaign in order to be an electrician? Gorsuch essentially voted that, no, someone should’t be coerced into funding political candidates or speech.
This issue matters to Democrats because they often get a lot of their money from labor unions. In 2016, the Carpenters and Joiners Union, the Laborers Union, and the Plumbers/Pipefitters Union donated a combined 13.7 million dollars to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In fact, the Communications Workers of America union has already donated $35,000 to Merkley’s 2018 campaign funds. Other Merkley donors for the 2018 cycle include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($31.6k), the United Food & Commercial Workers Union ($25.2k), the Teamsters Union ($20.1k), the Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union ($20k), the American Postal Workers Union ($20k), and the Laborers Union ($20k).
If Sen. Merkley is looking for a campaign funding scheme, through which big donors have compromised the integrity of our government systems, he shouldn’t look at the Koch brothers, he should look in a mirror.