The Supreme Court was terrible for women all year round – and that's with Anthony Kennedy, the conservative swing vote, on the bank. Now that he retires, the court's constant attack on women's economic and reproductive rights will be ready to turn into a total war.
The mission is now life and death. Any judge appointed by President Donald Trump will surely be anti-abortion, as Trump has promised. The way, Roe v. Reversing Wade seems safer than ever, causing fears of back rooms or even self-induced abortions.
"This is a very bleak moment for us to take the next step," said Sunu Chandy, legal director of the National Center for Women's Legal Affairs, reflecting the concerns of countless progressive groups fearful of what's coming and prepare for the fight.
Still, it's worth looking at the damage Kennedy and his conservative male colleagues at the bank have done to women this year ̵
Kennedy joined the Conservatives of the Court with three 2018 opinions that were particularly damaging to women.
On Wednesday, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees the court limped public unions and ruled that members do not have to pay contributions if they disagree politically with their union. This puts the financing of working groups at risk.
Trade union membership is a route to economic security for many workers, but especially for minorities and women – according to the National Women's Act, 55 per cent of public sector union members are women
Full-time trade union women earn, according to the Institute for Women's Policy 30 percent more than women who do not work. Hispanic women see the biggest benefits of belonging to a union; those without union membership earn only $ 565 a week on average, compared with $ 829 a week for their union counterparts, according to IWPR. That's a 47% increase in wages.
When women and black people have unions negotiating for their wages, the likelihood of wage discrimination drops dramatically, Chandy said. The gender pay gap between union members has long been lower than that of non-union members. How has the racial wage gap.
The Janus verdict was only the latest in a decade-long conservative attack on work on behalf of the country's largest companies.
But unions advocate more than just good pay for the workers, Chandy said. "You have an entity that beats for you," she said.
This may mean better health care and retirement packages, safer jobs, more protection for disabled workers, and fairer or more predictable schedules – an issue of particular concern to working mothers.
The verdict is an indication of what will come next year when Trump makes his way and sets up an anti-abortion bank.
And last month, in Epic Systems Corp. against Lewis the court ripped away many workers' rights to band together with their peers and bring complaints to a company about breaches of pay, discrimination or other jobs. According to the ruling, employees who have signed arbitration agreements are bound to secret courtrooms outside the judicial system, where each employee must negotiate his case individually.
Many workers do not even bother to allow companies to get away with all kinds of discrimination and abuse, including wage theft. The verdict was a strike against the Me Too Movement which made it harder for women who were harassed to find each other and achieve justice in the courtroom.
The epic verdict, the Conservative Judge – led by Neil Gorsuch – made it clear once again that they are sitting on the bank's pro-workers, profesional wing. And this wing will certainly stay strong with the addition of another conservative judiciary to replace Kennedy. This is bad for women, minorities, low paid workers – just about anyone who is already disadvantaged in this economy.
"Taking a pro-business approach will have a negative impact on women who already have less power in the economy," said Kate Bahn, an economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. This applies to all who are confronted with historical socio-political power imbalances, even with colored people, adds Bahn.
It should be noted that economic equality of women and reproductive access are interlinked. For example, when states adopt restrictive abortion laws, it is poor women who tend to lose access.
For example, even if you are a low-income woman and lucky enough to have Medicaid, your abortion may not be covered by state insurance if you live in a wrong state.
If you're lucky If you're a union worker, you are much more likely to have good health coverage. Seventy-seven percent of women in unions have coverage, compared to just over half of non-ionized women, according to IWPR.
Whoever chooses Trump will certainly continue the conservative tradition of screwing workers into corporations that further endangers the company's hard-won rights.
What could be a more damning indictment of the so-called "right-to-life" movement than a Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade throws back, essentially forcing women to have children, and then pulling the rug is among them when they go to work to support their children.