I'm back today on The BradCast, after Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com filled in for a few days! (Thanks, Nicki!!!) And while little has changed in the GOP race for the White House since I've been gone, it was a very big weekend for Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, even if the mainstream corporate media continues to disregard his campaign. [Audio link for the complete show is at bottom of article.]
Then, I'm joined by constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, to explain today's stunning ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of public sector unions. The decision in Friedrich v. California Teachers Association is a major turnaround from what had been the expected outcome earlier this year when we spoke to Millhiser in January just after oral argument in what had been regarded as "the biggest legal attack on unions in decades".
Thanks, however, to a 4 to 4 deadlock on the Court, in the wake of the recent death of Rightwing activist Justice Antonin Scalia, today's ruling is the opposite of what had been previously expected and "one of the first consequences" of his death, says Millhiser. "Scalia was probably going to be the fifth vote to do some serious violence to the way that public sector unions are funded," he explains, while detailing why today's ruling is very good news for both Democrats and democracy itself in the wake of what had been "potentially an existential threat to unions."
"What this decision does mean is that if someone wants to undermine unions, they don't get to take a shortcut. They don't get to go to five Justices and get the Justices to put in place the laws they want for them," Millhiser tells me.
He also decodes the Court's somewhat "baffling" order today concerning a challenge by religious activists to the 'ObamaCare' contraception mandate, as well as the latest status of the GOP's seemingly self-defeating obstruction of President Obama's nomination to replace Scalia.
Finally, we've found something that both Republican and Democratic voters agree on! What happened last week to voters in Phoenix --- many of whom had to wait up to 5 hours to cast a vote (and some of them were the lucky ones!) --- was an outrage across the board, and we've got just some of the outraged voter testimony from the AZ state legislature on Monday to prove it!...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)