The Supreme Court mutes California unions, and gives billionaires a megaphone. In California, the blow won’t come overnight. Though some public employee unions here will take a financial hit, and some expect over time to lose as much as a third of their members, most have prepared. But without healthy political organizations, including labor, American democracy is too easily perverted by the whims of the super-rich and the artificial amplification that money buys them. Janus was part of one such whim, a long game bankrolled through nonprofits by a cadre of rich ideologues. California labor, here’s some advice. Read more.
Justice Kennedy’s retirement ends an era of Sacramento values on the Supreme Court. For more than a year, there had been speculation and discussion, but still, it felt like the end of an era. Perhaps that’s because it is. Read more.
Jack Ohman sees the latest Trump property. Help Anthony Kennedy out here.
Erwin Chemerinsky: If you think the Supreme Court is conservative now, just wait for Kennedy’s retirement. Read more.
Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins: The budget Gov. Jerry Brown just signed is a victory for California. It wasn’t just luck. Read more.
Takes on Janus ruling
Art Pulaski, California Labor Federation: Unjust Janus v. AFSCME decision won’t stop unions from fighting for all working people. Read more.
Will Swaim, California Policy Center: With Janus, California public employees are free from union shakedowns, finally. Read more.
Aaron Tang, UC Davis law school: Pro-labor states can undo the Janus ruling by adopting a simple legislative workaround. Government employers can just reimburse unions directly for the exact same bargaining-related costs. Read more.
Noah Feldman, Bloomberg: The Janus decision, six years in the making, shows how a conservative court can take a core constitutional value like freedom of speech and wield it as a tool to advance business interests. Read more.
More takes on Supreme Court
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: It is clear that the Republican Five on the nation’s highest court have operated as agents of their party’s interests. And now things stand to get even worse because of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. He was, at least on some occasions, a moderating force. Read more.
Chicago Tribune editorial board: Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement Wednesday of his retirement comes with the ink barely dry on several crucial decisions enabled by President Trump’s choice of the conservative Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. Kennedy has been a center-right jurist with enough left-of-center positions to qualify as the court’s unpredictable swing voter. Expect Trump to nominate a new justice who wouldn’t often swing. Read more.
Washington Post editorial board: Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 30-year career on the Supreme Court was a historical accident. President Ronald Reagan’s first choice was Judge Robert Bork, a doctrinaire conservative whose nomination failed. Reagan’s second pick, Judge Douglas Ginsberg, withdrew when it was revealed that he had smoked marijuana while a professor. And so we got Kennedy, a mild-mannered conservative federal appeals court judge. In many important and lasting ways, Kennedy’s lucky break was a lucky break for the country as well. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: The Roberts Court is historically unusual in that none of the justices ever held elected office; the experience gap contributes to an impression that they are naive about the way their decisions affect and distort the political system. This was painfully obvious in the travel ban decision. Read more.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: Californians of a liberal bent may not like it, but the U.S. Supreme Court this week struck an important blow for the constitutional right of free speech. It overturned a California law requiring clinics offering non-abortion alternative treatment to pregnant women to post notices telling them about the availability of abortion. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: Beverage manufacturers hate it when local governments levy taxes on sodas, and with good reason. To stop this trend in California, the American Beverage Assocation funded a ballot measure that would require a two-thirds majority of local voters to approve any local tax proposal and certain local fees. There’s no question that if this measure passes it would cause trouble for local governments, but that doesn’t justify the stinky backroom deal cooked up this week to pull the measure from the ballot. Read more.
Orange County Register: On ballots for big-time elections, local elections are shunted way to the bottom. State Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, aims to do something about that with his new Senate Bill 25, and we think it’s a laudable effort. His proposed new California order: Local city and school offices and propositions; local districts; county offices and propositions; state offices and propositions; federal offices. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: President Donald Trump’s repeated calls this week to do away with due process for unauthorized immigrants at the border – a group he decried as invaders – should be summarily rejected by anyone who believes America is a nation of laws. It still is, right? No one’s invoked martial law? Read more.
San Francisco Chronicle: Lawmakers are moving to help the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Clippers build expensive new homes for themselves, granting them special dispensation from a state environmental law that subjects too many construction projects to costly and time-consuming lawsuits. The dire shortage actually facing the state, of course, is of homes for people, not sports teams. The latest examples of the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s ritual exemption of superrich professional sports team owners from the law looks that much more outrageous. Read more.
Solomon Jones, Philadelphia Inquirer: After Rep. Maxine Waters implored Americans of good conscience to publicly confront White House officials over their policies, leading Democrats joined with Republicans to denounce Waters’ comments as uncivil. It was one of the few acts of bipartisanship that Democrats have engaged in since the advent of the Trump administration, and it was by far the most harmful. Read more.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: President Donald Trump tweeted about the most stunning of Tuesday’s primary results – New York Rep. Joseph Crowley’s defeat by a 28-year-old newcomer named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – and suggested it reflected Crowley’s insufficient deference and kindness to Trump. I can say with great certainty that their relationship is not the first, second or third explanation for what happened. Read more.
Ross Douthat, New York Times: In almost every opinion on the restaurant that famously refused to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders, there is a too-neat congruence between the moral argument and the meta-political argument. Read more.
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: It’s not just the kids at the border. America systematically shortchanges tens of millions of children, including homegrown kids. The upshot is that American kids are more likely to be poor, to drop out of high school and even to die young than in other advanced countries. Read more.
Tweets of the day
Thank you to Justice Anthony Kennedy for your long career of service on the SCOTUS. @POTUS Trump will nominate a strong conservative, in the tradition of the late Justice Scalia, who will uphold all the God-given liberties enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) June 27, 2018
Chuck Schumer should pull a McConnell today and argue that Justice Kennedy's SCOTUS replacement shouldn't be nominated until the investigation into the White House concludes. The American people should know their President is innocent before he gets another pick on the bench.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy just announced his retirement from US Supreme Court.— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) June 27, 2018
If the next Justice appointed supports the basic human right to life for ALL people, this could be the end of the horrific, immoral and unjust 1973 Roe v Wade decision.
Justice Kennedy is retiring.— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) June 27, 2018
After Trump was elected, many asked, "What's the worst that can happen?"
This. This is the worst that can happen.
If anyone has any Trump tapes they've been holding onto until closer to the midterms, for the love of God release them now.