WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles, Washington Bureau) — The Supreme Court handed organized labor a major victory on Tuesday, deadlocking 4 to 4 in a case that had threatened to cripple the ability of public-sector unions to collect fees from workers who chose not to join and did not want to pay for the unions’ collective bargaining activities.
The case the court ruled on Tuesday, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915, asked whether such workers must continue to pay for any union activities, including negotiating for better wages and benefits.
With the deadlock decision, the high court basically let stand a lower court ruling favoring organized labor.
With the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court is now split equally — four conservatives and four liberals. The U.S. Senate is refusing to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, insisting that the vacancy should be filled by the next president.
After issuing its latest deadlock decision, the Supreme Court issued another ruling — this time with a unanimous vote — declaring itself a lame duck, unable to decide on the merits of cases brought before it.
So, by considering Obama a lame duck president, the Senate Republicans have also just created a lame duck Supreme Court.
From all indications, there is now only one branch of government functioning — the Legislative Branch. Or not.