Top priority for those seeking to derail, or at least damage, the Kavanaugh confirmation process. You can get the word out without citing this tip-off post -- just say you were investigating any connection that Trump had with Kavanaugh, and discovered what was public record.
This case allows a way to attack the nominee for his record of union-busting, and specifically favoring a Trump company in doing so. Since nobody cares about social-cultural issues in this climate of populist re-alignment, the opposition to Chamber of Commerce puppet Kavanaugh must be populist, not socially liberalist.
While searching for Kavanaugh's opinions on immigration for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, I stumbled upon a case that turned out to have nothing to do with immigration, despite containing the search term "immigrants", but which is noteworthy for who one of the parties was -- Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, one of Trump's two Atlantic City fiascos.
Citation: Trump Plaza Associates v. NLRB, 679 F.3d 822 (D.C. Cir. 2012).
Full text here.
Although his colleague Henderson wrote up the opinion, Kavanaugh joined the rest of the three-person panel in deciding in favor of Trump Plaza Associates, who were petitioning to void a highly successful union election among the card dealers in 2007, which the National Labor Relations Board had upheld.
The Circuit Court did tell the NLRB to re-consider their legal reasoning for their approval of the election, rather than say flat-out that it was so obvious to the Circuit Court that the election process was compromised, that the NLRB shouldn't even bother trying to re-approve the election with a different argument.
Still, the Circuit Court could have simply said they concur with the NLRB's approval of the election, though not with their argument for the approval, so let it be known that the higher court's narrower or more precedent-focused reasoning for approving the union election will be the standard.
But the Circuit Court did not really approve of the election, and wanted some rationalization for shooting it down, despite the complaints from the company being totally specious. Typical of courts in the post-New Deal era, they defer way more toward management than to the NLRB.
Vacating the NLRB's approval of the election set the process back by years, and that would be all that was necessary to kill the union drive for good, since Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino closed in 2014, just two years after the Circuit Court's decision. Even by 2013, Trump Plaza Associates announced they wanted to sell the property to another casino company, jeopardizing the union drive while the property's future ownership was up in the air.
This case presents not only the usual opportunities for pro-labor politicians to hammer a conservative judge for granting the most flimsy legal appeal by corporations trying to block a union drive, as long as it serves the larger agenda to further dismantle the New Deal and weaken labor regulations.
This time, though, there's a unique opportunity to muddy the waters with a "conflict of interest" narrative. Kavanaugh helped a Trump company refuse to negotiate a contract with an elected labor union, scoring a legal and financial victory for the billionaire. Now that this billionaire occupies the White House and is able to elevate judges, he picks for the Supreme Court the very one who helped him out big-league just six years earlier.
It's obviously not a quid pro quo, since nobody including Trump thought he'd be president back in 2012. But it still looks corrupt, to pick -- of all the judges out there -- the one who's recently done great legal and financial things for you personally.
Best case, Kavanaugh gets blocked, and the assault on anti-union judges means his replacement has to be at least moderate on labor issues, rather than a full Koch Brothers shill for big business.
Worst case, Kavanaugh gets his seat on the highest court, but he gets tainted, and so does Trump, for the process appearing so personally motivated rather than merely politically motivated. It makes the selection of justices appear even seedier than already believed, after the GOP cockblocked Obama from getting to nominate Scalia's replacement.
That level of blocking only happened in the lead-up to the Civil War, and when the shoe was on the other foot after the Lincoln coalition dethroned the Jackson coalition, the new dominant party packed the court -- increasing or decreasing the number of justices depending on which party would be doing the nominating, and adjusting the boundaries of the circuits to minimize the regions controlled by their rival party.
The more appalling the selection process during this peak of partisan polarization, the more the new dominant coalition under Bernie will be able to adjust the make-up of the Supreme Court in order to get their programs through, against old-guard Reaganite obstruction.