Watch Al Franken shut down Gorsuch’s cruel decision in the ‘Frozen Trucker’ case

Laurel Raymond

Laurel Raymond General Reporter, Think Progress

Senator Al Franken (D-MN), as he said himself during Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing on Tuesday, used to have “a career in identifying absurdity” as a humorist and one of SNL’s original writers.

Ironically, his early career has carried over rather too well to policy making, as he demonstrated while grilling Gorsuch about his ruling in the so-called “Frozen Trucker case.”

The case at hand is that of Alphonse Maddin, a truck driver for TransAm. The brakes on Maddin’s trailer locked up on a subzero January night, and he called for help from TransAm’s road service. They told him to wait, and he did — for two hours, despite discovering that the heat in his truck cab was broken. When he was woken by a phone call, he had a numb torso and couldn’t feel his feet.

“If you fall asleep waiting in 14 below zero weather, you can freeze to death. You can die,” Franken explained in his retelling of the case.

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9 Ways the Republican Health Care Bill Makes Health Coverage in America Unaffordable and Out of Reach

The congressional Republican health plan is an attack on everyone’s health benefits. No health care coverage—workplace plans, Medicare, Medicaid or the individual insurance coverage now available as a result of the Affordable Care Act—is untouched. For more than a century, working people in their unions have fought to make health care a right for every American. The Republican plan contradicts this very idea by making care less affordable and less accessible. It’s bad for our health care, it’s bad for working families, and we fully oppose it.

Here are nine ways the Republican health care bill is bad for America’s working families and their health. 

1. The Republican health plan will take health coverage away from 24 million people.

Congress’ budget experts say the Republican plan will take health benefits away from 24 million people once it goes into full effect. This haphazard “repeal and replace” effort will result in painful taxes on working families, cuts to Medicaid, tax giveaways for the super-rich and a weakening of Medicare. Of all the bad ideas in this flawed plan, forcing workers to pay a so-called “Cadillac tax” on employer-provided health care has to be among the worst. That’s a terrible plan for health care in America.

2. The Republican plan isn’t really a health care plan at all. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from working people to Wall Street.

The Republican plan gives the 400 highest-income households an average tax cut of about $7 million each. The average millionaire household will get more than $50,000 every year. Insurance corporations will score $145 billion over 10 years from the Republican plan, while pharmaceutical manufacturers will get $25 billion. Republicans pay for these tax breaks by cutting health benefits for everyday Americans who struggle the most to make ends meet and taxing people’s workplace health plans.

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Hear from Americans Hurt by Judge Gorsuch's Rulings

Neil Gorsuch Unacceptable for Supreme Court

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

Bill Haschke’s Neil Gorsuch is the wrong choice for U.S. Supreme Court provides an historical framework for the U.S. Senate to reject confirm Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court

Our founding fathers knew that only government could protect the rights of all citizens, because it would be large enough to challenge all other economic powers who wanted to exploit peoples’ rights for their own greedy pursuit of wealth and power. The declaration states “…that to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The Declaration of Independence informs us of exactly what governments should be, whom they serve and the values that should be applied to form valid governments; it codified the natural rights of man. After our “slavery issue” was resolved, the court began interpreting the constitution more in the light of the Declaration of Independence, in keeping with the exceptional ideals put forth in our founding document.

However, since January 7, 1972 when Justices Powell and Rehnquist were sworn-in, the SCOTUS began ignoring the Declaration of Independence with more and more power over our elections, and therefore our government, being granted to powerful economic interest, including corporations, culminating with the Citizens United case.

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Trump's Russia and Wiretapping Scandals Overshadow Supreme Court: