Kavanaugh: Good for Corporations, Bad for Your Wallet

By Dennis M. Kelleher and Stephen W. Hall

When people think of the Supreme Court, they think of cases about women’s rights, abortion rights, health care, immigration, gay rights, race and discrimination, the death penalty, the right to privacy, climate change, the environment and civil rights. That’s because they are important, controversial and, often, politically charged cases widely covered by the media.

However, there is another large category of important Supreme Court cases that impact the livelihoods, wealth, financial well-being and quality of life of every American: economic and financial cases that rarely get any mention beyond legal publications, much less mainstream media coverage.

Every year, the Supreme Court decides many critically important cases relating to all of those issues. The upcoming term of the Supreme Court starting this October will be no different, except that a new justice may be deciding those cases. That potential justice, Brett Kavanaugh, has a record on business and financial cases that is hostile to the economic interests of working Americans, particularly if they are ripped off or injured by corporations.

There is little doubt that if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will tilt the scales of justice in favor of corporations over consumers, workers, investors and retirees, while gutting the financial regulatory agencies’ ability to protect the public from scammers, predators and crooks.

The bottom line is that anyone who has a savings or checking account, credit card, debit card, mortgage, student loan, car loan, retirement plan, personal loan, college savings fund, publicly traded stock or any other financial product or service — meaning every single American — has to care about the Supreme Court’s momentous decisions that affect every one of those critical financial issues for every American family. Put differently, if you care about what’s in your wallet, you should be very worried if judge Kavanaugh becomes Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

A new Better Markets report we co-authored lays out the high stakes all Americans have in the next Justice of the Court. We analyze elements of Judge Kavanaugh’s past rulings and writings, finding several disturbing examples of his bias against ordinary consumers. For example, Judge Kavanaugh has:

  • Called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “a significant threat to individual liberty” and attempted to gut the agency by ruling that its structure was unconstitutional (a decision later overturned by the full D.C. Circuit);
  • Narrowly interpreted the anti-fraud provisions of the securities laws and even faulted the Securities and Exchange Commission for aggressively pursuing lawbreakers;
  • Undermined financial reform protections for Main Street;
  • Made plain his desire to abolish the legal principle requiring courts to show deference to a government agency’s interpretation of the law; and
  • Supported the establishment of more legal obstacles that limit the ability of agencies to broadly protect the public interest through major rules.

The report also looks at critically important Supreme Court cases coming this year that will impact the financial well-being of every American.  If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh will be seated in time to rule on issues in ways that:

  • Force more injured consumers into mandatory arbitration;
  • Cut back the states’ role in protecting consumers;
  • Eliminate anti-fraud protections for investors; and
  • Limit the remedies available in class action litigation.

Anyone with a wallet should be very worried about Brett Kavanaugh joining the Supreme Court. His record of one-sided, pro-corporation, anti-consumer rulings will likely be the model for his decisions in upcoming cases that will affect every American.

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Reposted from Inequality.org

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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