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SCOTUS Opens Case To Curb Unions

Case may enable U.S. Supreme Court to curb union power. Reuters: "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will consider for the second time in two years whether to choke off a critical funding stream for public-employee unions, potentially reducing organized labor’s influence in the workplace and at the ballot box. The nine justices will hear a challenge backed by anti-union groups to the legality of fees that workers who are not members of unions representing teachers, police, firefighters and certain other government employees must pay to help cover the costs of collective bargaining with state and local governments. Two dozen states require payment of these so-called agency fees, covering roughly 5 million public-sector workers, that provide millions of dollars annually to unions. Their disappearance would deliver another blow to a U.S. organized labor movement already in a diminished state compared to past decades."

Unions Rally Ahead Of SCOTUS Case

Union workers rally ahead of major Supreme Court case. ThinkProgress: "Unionized workers and their allies held rallies across the country Saturday to support unions in advance of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could significantly weaken the power of organized labor. Workers are attending rallies as part of a 'working people’s day of action.'... The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Mark Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (AFSCME) case. Non-union public school teachers in California brought the case. Mark Janus, a child support specialist who chose not to join the union, said “fair-share” fees levied on non-members, amounting to 78 percent of full union dues, are a violation of his First Amendment rights. A Supreme Court decision in his favor, which is expected, would be a huge setback for public sector unions, which depend on these funds. A decision in Janus’ favor would also give workers far less incentive to join unions, in essence expanding “right-to-work” laws from the current 28 states to the entire country."

Koch Brothers Cite Victories Under Trump

Koch document cites victories extracted from Trump administration. The Intercept: "The conservative Koch brothers have won victory after victory in their bid to reshape American government to their interests. Documents obtained by The Intercept and Documented show that the network of wealthy donors led by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch have taken credit for a laundry list of policy achievements extracted from the Trump administration and their allies in Congress. The donors have pumped campaign contributions not only to GOP lawmakers, but also to an array of third-party organizations that have pressured officials to act swiftly to roll back limits on pollution, approve new pipeline projects, and extend the largest set of upper-income tax breaks in generations. 'This year, thanks in part to research and outreach efforts across institutions, we have seen progress on many regulatory priorities this Network has championed for years,' the memo notes. The document highlights environmental issues that the Koch brothers have long worked to undo, such as the EPA Clean Power Plan, which is currently under the process of being formally repealed, and Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, among their major accomplishments. The memo also highlighted administration efforts to walk back planned rules to strengthen the estate tax in a list of 13 regulatory decisions favored by the network."

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How to Argue With Gun Nuts. Bernie Horn: "Every six months or so there is an especially horrific gun massacre. The cold-blooded slaughter in Las Vegas, the most deadly single-shooter incident in American history with 58 dead and more than 500 injured, was only last October. So, it’s just the appalling truth that if you don’t have the chance to argue for gun restrictions following this latest high school shooting, there will be no shortage of future opportunities—unless we act now."

The Big Pharma Family that Brought Us the Opioid Crisis. Sam Pizzigati: "Who will bring to justice those who have profited the most royally from addiction? These drug pushers have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, enough fatalities to actually decrease U.S. life expectancy for the past two years running."

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