Right On: Recent Supreme Court decision was right. Liberal judges and the media got it wrong.

Photo courtesy of zimmytws via iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

OPINION — Readers of a certain age will remember nine-time Grammy Award-winner Joni Mitchell. Looking at a recent Supreme Court decision reminded me of one of her classics, “Both Sides Now.”

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis is a classic example of how liberal judges across the country ignore the law to impose their own interpretations of social justice on the country.


Read more: Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers


The liberal mindset permeates far too much of the judicial and media landscape. Take a look at both the case and how it was reported in the media.

Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act in 1925. As described here, arbitration is generally considered a more efficient process than litigation because it is quicker and less expensive. A number of states require arbitration for some public employees and it is compulsory for civil cases in several state and federal courts.

New hires not covered by grievance procedures in union contracts are usually subject to arbitration clauses when they sign on. Companies and aggrieved employees settle disputes with an arbitrator – a private party, usually a lawyer – who hears the facts as told by each side and renders a decision.

So who’s unhappy with arbitration? The answer: class action lawyers. These are the folks who beat the bushes trying to find people with some complaint or an ax to grind. By gathering them up into a class action, the lawyers can earn massive fees while portraying themselves as champions of the little guy.

Oh, did I mention that lawyers are the Democratic Party’s largest campaign contributors?

Catering to the lawyers, Obama’s National Labor Relations Board invented an argument that Section 7 of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act somehow supersedes the earlier Arbitration Act. The board charged ahead with this interpretation ignoring its own general counsel’s opinion to the contrary.

As expected, the Supreme Court ruled against the NLRB. The court has long held that any later law – in this case the 1935 NLRA – cannot displace an earlier one – the 1925 Arbitration Act – without clearly expressed congressional intent.

Writing the majority opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch stated:

It’s more than a little doubtful that Congress would have tucked into the mouse hole of Section 7 an elephant that tramples the work done by these other laws; flattens the parties’ contracted-for dispute resolution procedures; and seats the [NLRB] as supreme superintendent of claims arising under a statute it doesn’t even administer.

Respect for Congress as drafter counsels against too easily finding irreconcilable conflicts in its work. More than that, respect for the separation of powers counsels restraint.

Few have accused liberal judges of judicial restraint.

As could have been predicted in advance, all four of today’s liberal Supreme Court justices ignored both the law and multiple court precedents to side with class action lawyers.

Obama has been slapped down again. His frequently-unconstitutional administration left a legacy that is being systematically undone by constitutional processes.

So who are the fascists and who are the small “d” democrats?

Turn now to how the reliably-liberal Associated Press reported the decision.

Relegating the legal issues involved to the last half of its story, the Associated Press headline shouted, “Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers.”

Readers these days focus on headlines and sound bites, so the AP fed the liberal narrative to millions across the country: conservatives trample workers’ rights. Both AP’s headline and its text were published verbatim by most of the nation’s news sites and newspapers including St. George News.

For the smaller number of those who actually read the story, the liberal AP played the case as nasty business interests versus “low wage, vulnerable workers.” It quoted a liberal activist who said workers “may now be forced behind closed doors into an individual, costly – and often secret – arbitration process.”

Arbitration of workplace disputes has been going on for decades with hardly a peep from these folks. Suddenly it’s described in apocalyptic terms by liberal groups without a shred of evidence that arbitration is systematically unfair to workers.

Continuing its yellow journalism, the AP claims that the court had to choose between the worker-friendly NLRA and the Arbitration Act. Finally, near the bottom of its lengthy story, AP quotes Gorsuch again. He said that “in many cases over many years, this court has heard and rejected efforts to conjure conflicts between the Arbitration Act and other federal statutes.”

So instead of legislating from the bench, the court sustained existing law and the precedents it had set in “many cases over many years.” Shouldn’t that have been the principle message in what was supposed to be an objective AP news story?

If AP had wanted to write an opinion piece, Gorsuch provided a perfect opportunity. He said, “As a matter of policy these questions are surely debatable. But as a matter of law the answer is clear.” A policy debate in this case should take place in Congress, not in the courts.

When liberals can’t elect legislative majorities, they turn instead to liberal judges, bypassing voters. The two most contentious social policies of our lifetimes, abortion and same sex marriage, were imposed by the courts, not by Congress.

Keep an eye out for the next liberal judge who finds some way to go beyond the law into social engineering. You’ll read all about it in an AP story.

Howard Sierer is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: hsierer@stgeorgeutah.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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31 Comments

  • Steve May 31, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Regurgitated like the good little running dog capitalist you are Howard.

  • PogoStik May 31, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Liberal judges across the country? Howard, you’d see a liberal hiding in every corner and under every rock. Liberal judges are far less prevalent than you suggest. The U.S. Supreme has been loaded with conservatives and moderates which ultimately allowed ”Citizens United” (CU) to occur. As a result the very wealthy are able to ”buy” or otherwise influence the politicians who receive their huge financial contributions. Howard, before railing against nameless ”liberal judges”, just name a few of them. We’d be interested in knowing who they are and what decisions they made that you feel were wrong. It would add some professionalism to your column and allow actual useful discussion of issues to occur. Your columns have consisted of rabel-rousing accusations and factless mud-slinging leaving nothing for other readers to discuss. St. George News deserves better than this from its columnists.

  • Utahguns May 31, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Howard stimulates rational thought, unlike the liberals favorite STG News mouthpiece Ed Coch-roach that stimulates, “I like to punch him” reactions.

  • commonsense May 31, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    The constitution is inconvenient for liberals. Courts creating law works for self serving liberal trial attorneys. Can you even imagine this country with Hillary as our president. That you America!

    • Gary June 1, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Compete BS commonsense, need to change your log in name I think.

      • comments June 1, 2018 at 12:59 pm

        “commonsense” is the most black and white thinking clown I’ve ever encountered. If it’s anything bad then it must be a “librul”, because any politician with an R by their name CAN DO KNOW WRONG IN HIS MIND–they are all angels on earth, to him. I don’t know if he’s old and slow or if he’s really that stupid. I used to just think he was a troll, but, like Howard, I think he believes the drivel he spews.

    • Utahguns June 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Don’t give the limp-wristed pink-boys any thought.
      They’re agonizing enough having you live rent-free in their head.

  • mesaman May 31, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Three cheers, Howard. You wrote a most important contribution with this column. Of course you will reap the whirlwind of whining, whimpering, gnashing liberal socialist comments which I am most eager to peruse; keeps me smiling for hours after reading them.

    • comments May 31, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      speaking of socialists, when can my tax dollars stop paying for your survival?

    • PatriotLiberal June 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      That’s funny Nolan. I see maybe 2-3 liberal comments here (out of 10). Ed Kociela’s (sp) last column has 74 total comments, maybe 10 of those are from liberals. The other 64 are right wingers calling him names and telling him to leave if he doesn’t like their way of thinking.

      • Utahguns June 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        That’s because the majority will not condone Ed’s way of thinking.

        • No Filter June 1, 2018 at 4:21 pm

          We don’t attack Howard nearly as much as you attack Ed. Most comments are sent to the people making the comments not the author, but you guys attack Ed every week. Go through the archives, the proof is right in front of your face. The handful of liberal minded folks on this website pale in comparison in the amount of hate that gets posted online here.

      • John June 1, 2018 at 2:41 pm

        Panty-fa, your critical thinking is broken agail..

      • RadRabbit June 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

        Already a place for socialist like Ed its called California.

  • jlittleaz May 31, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Liberal or conservative, does it seem right to sign away your rights for a job?

  • Gary June 1, 2018 at 9:34 am

    So now employers have the right to pretty much do anything they want. If they don’t like the way you look, dress or just plain don’t like you because of you political views they can fire you and all of the resources of the company are behind them. Meanwhile you as an individual have nothing to say.

    • Utahguns June 1, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      My firms, over the last 39 years freely and lawfully fired employees for their appearance and for their attitudes.
      Fortunately, it wasn’t a lot of people because the folks in the Human Resources did outstanding jobs weeding out undesirables in the screening processes. This benefited not only the company but also maintained the productive environment for the employees.

    • John June 1, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      They always did. It is called “Employment at will.” “An employer may terminate its employees at will, for any or no reason … the employer may act peremptorily, arbitrarily, or inconsistently, without providing specific protections such as prior warning, fair procedures, objective evaluation, or preferential reassignment … The mere existence of an employment relationship affords no expectation, protectible by law, that employment will continue, or will end only on certain conditions, unless the parties have actually adopted such terms”

      • comments June 1, 2018 at 7:30 pm

        call the official policy “employees are all expendable trash. If you don’t work like a slave we’ll fire your ass and replace you with an illegal alien who will”. “Conservative” politicians flooded this country with illegals every bit as aggressively as did libs. Cheap labor that drives wages to rock-bottom: they love it; I’d even say free-marketers fetishize it. Oh yeah, turn employees into nothing but slaves/cogs, a dream come true. We are all nothing but cattle, meant to be worked like domestic farm animals, huh?

        • comments June 1, 2018 at 7:36 pm

          I’ve worked my own business, set my own hours so long I’ve almost forgotten what the drudgery is like to work as a wage slave/cog. If I want a week off I simply take it. If I want to quit early for the day, no problem. For you people who work as 9 to 5 cogs/slaves for wagery I have no idea how you stand it. Someone has decided your life is worth X amount per hour. Man, if you’re workin’ for crap wages that’s no way to live.

          • John June 1, 2018 at 10:45 pm

            Sounds to me like your’e the one doing all the whining and crying. Just sayin’

        • John June 1, 2018 at 7:40 pm

          The law is the law! What’s your pointless point this time crybaby?

          • comments June 1, 2018 at 9:13 pm

            the main point: I’m tired of paying for mesaman’s socialist parasite existence and listen to him constantly piss and whine about socialism when it’s the only reason for his survival. He’s the worst kind of hypocrite and I wish we could just shut off the spigot to his socialist parasiting. It’s this way with so many former and current gov’t employees. We the public pay for them and all they do is whine and complain. It’s time to shut off the spigot and trim the fat.

            😉

  • No Filter June 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I don’t know enough about this subject to make a comment regarding my thoughts on it at this time so I won’t, but I do take offense to this part of Howard’s post. – “When liberals can’t elect legislative majorities, they turn instead to liberal judges, bypassing voters. The two most contentious social policies of our lifetimes, abortion and same sex marriage, were imposed by the courts, not by Congress.”
    You right wing conservatives get so butt hurt over these two decisions by the courts. Both decisions do not affect you in any way, so why do you feel so passionate about them? Why do you have to control other peoples lives? I can understand this arbitration being a issue you want to change, but how a person lives their life should not be. Not one of you conservatives can give me a legit reason why abortion or gay marriage is harmful to “your” daily lives other than your fictional book telling you not to like it. Same thing goes for marijuana, it has no more effect on you than alcohol does yet you are fighting so hard to stop it. let people make their own choices and worry about yourself.

    • John June 1, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      “The truth shall set you free!” cloggy! But it your case it just hurts..

    • comments June 1, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      I actually made an argument against homosexual marriages not based at all on religion. It wasn’t that long ago and none of the leftists on this site could refute it. I’m not gonna go find it or type it out again, but if you can find it and make a valid argument against it I’ll give you a lollipop and a pat on the head 😉

      • comments June 1, 2018 at 7:25 pm

        Oh, i never use religion in my arguments, seeing as how I’m an “atheist” and all. Maybe that’s why I’m so pro-abortion these days. haha 😉

        • John June 1, 2018 at 7:41 pm

          If you are so pro-abortion, why are you here?

          • comments June 1, 2018 at 9:09 pm

            if you’re an actual conservative you should be as pro-abortion as me.

            hmm, maybe I should say “pro choice”. either way, it ends the same.

        • John June 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm

          Why are you here? Apparently your mother wasn’t pro abortion. Good thing for you! hahahahahahahahaha! Liberals have brain damage and can not read! As evidenced by the fact they have no clue what is or isn’t in The Constitutional. BTW abortion IS murder !

  • Jmfixitman June 6, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Amen

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