This Week in Albany

Week ending July 6, 2018

Justice Kennedy Announces Retirement

Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced last week that he will resign from the Court this summer. Kennedy was nominated to the Court by President Reagan and has served since 1988.

Kennedy is popularly considered a swing vote on the court after siding with liberal justices on several high-profile issues, including gay rights and abortion. However, Kennedy reliably sided with the conservatives on many issues, especially siding with employers over labor. Kennedy was part of the 5-4 majority decision against the union in Janus v AFSCME.

Kennedy’s retirement gives President Trump and Congressional Republicans the opportunity to appoint a second Supreme Court Justice.

During the confirmation of President Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), changed the rules of the Senate to require a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court Justice instead of the historically required 60 votes. Republicans have 51 votes in the U.S. Senate, just enough to confirm the President’s nominee without any Democratic votes.

President Trump has said that he will choose his nominee from a list of conservative judges released during the presidential campaign and will make his nomination on Monday, July 9th.

Legislative Update

A total of 516 bills that passed both houses of the legislature have not yet been sent to the Governor, including the vast majority of CSEA’s priority bills. Stay tuned for updates on these bills as they become available throughout the summer and fall, or check our website for updates.

Never Quit Fact of the Week

The National Labor Relations Act was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 5, 1935. The Act guaranteed the right of private sector workers to organize and collectively bargain with their employers and designated the National Labor Relations Board as the agency to administer these new protections.

As attacks on the rights of working people continue across the country, it is important that we take the time to recognize the history of the fundamental benefits American workers are entitled to so that they are not taken for granted.