This week, the Supreme Court gutted abortion rights. This is a workersâ issue, in a country where many struggle to afford an abortionÂ and lack the paid leave needed to take multiple days off work to travel out of state for abortion access as state bans go into effect. The Economic Policy Instituteâs Heidi ShierholzÂ points outÂ research showing that people who want but cannot get an abortion experience long-term financial consequences and increased poverty. Also highlighted here: The states where abortion bans are most likely are also states where wages and worker power are low.
The Supreme Court also essentially nullified statesâ rights to limit permits to carry firearms, sending a signal that it would become more and more extremist on guns. This, too, is a workersâ issue, in a country where workplace shootings are all too common.
But make no mistake that this Supreme Court is also specifically opposed to workersâ rights and efforts to build worker power. Justice Samuel Alito may end his career most remembered for his spiteful opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, but he also has a long and equally spiteful track record of anti-union activism. As Jenny Hunter wrote at Balls and Strikes in 2021, âAlitoâs âimpartialityâ in cases about unions can not only âreasonably be questionedâ; it simply does not exist. There is no doubt he will rule to limit workersâ collective power at every opportunity. The only question is how quickly heâll upend the law in order to engineer his desired result.â
This month, the courtÂ gutted an important California workplace enforcement rule. Because, of course, Alito has company in his basic anti-worker stance. A lot of company on this Trump-packed court. Workers around the country are showing renewed interest in unions, but they will encounter a hostile Supreme Court for a generation or more, unless Democrats expand the court.
This is a blog that originally appeared on Daily Kos on June 25, 2022. Reprinted with permission.
About the author:Â Laura Clawson is the assistant managing editor for Daily Kos.
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