ACSBlog

  • August 16, 2017

    by Caroline Fredrickson

    Over the past few days, Trump succeeded in uniting much of the nation against himself.

    On Saturday at the “Unite the Right” rally, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke told a reporter that the event would allow participants to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.” Echoing that sentiment, an armed militia – some wearing the president’s “Make America Great Again” hats – marched in Charlottesville, later leaving one dead and 19 injured.

  • August 16, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Dan Froomkin

    *This piece is part of the ACSblog symposium: The Department of Injustice

    Over the summer, Donald Trump’s political combativeness and anti-regulatory zeal have increasingly made their way into legal filings by the Department of Justice that represent dramatic reversals from the Obama era.

    The department’s starkest and most politically motivated reversal came in a case about how voters are purged from voting lists in Ohio, a crucial swing state.

  • August 15, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Dan Froomkin

    *This piece is part of the ACSblog symposium: The Department of Injustice

    It took nearly five years of public hearings and private wrangling for the Obama administration to do it, but in March 2015, the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management finalized a new rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on public lands.

    Although the fracking rule was considered fairly toothless by environmentalists, it was immediately caught up in a pitched legal battle. Oil and gas interests sued, and a federal judge enjoined it before it could take effect, on the grounds that the BLM had overreached.

  • August 15, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Sharon Block, Terri Gerstein and Jim Tierney

    *This piece was originally posted to On Labor

    Fighting the dangers of tobacco, seeking redress for homeowners during the mortgage crisis, and most recently standing up against the Muslim ban – state attorneys general have long been at the forefront of efforts to protect the well-being of the people of their states. In recent months, progressive state attorneys general have emerged as some of the nation’s foremost champions of civil rights and of humane, sensible policy in the face of declining protection at the federal level. As income inequality grows and too many American workers struggle to get a fair deal in our economy, the role of state attorneys general in enforcing statutes that protect workers’ economic interests has taken on new importance.  To build on the energy and expertise of these public servants, under the auspices of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, we recently hosted attorneys from the offices of 11 state attorneys general last week to discuss strategies and best practices for enforcing labor laws.

  • August 14, 2017

    *This piece originally appeared on the Economic Policy Institute’s Working Economics Blog.

    by Celine McNicholas, Labor Counsel, Economic Policy Institute

    On Aug 9, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed its brief in NLRB v.Murphy Oil, which will be argued in the Supreme Court in October. The case will determine whether mandatory arbitration agreements with individual workers that prevent them from pursuing work-related claims collectively are prohibited by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The brief makes clear what is at stake for workers if the Supreme Court were to rule against the NLRB in this matter.

    The NLRA guarantees workers the right to stand together for “mutual aid and protection” when seeking to improve their wages and working conditions. Employer interference with this right is prohibited. However, increasingly, employers are requiring workers to sign arbitration agreements that force them to waive their rights to collective actions, and handle workplace disputes as individuals. In practice, that means that even if many workers faced the same type of dispute at work, each individual employee must hire their own lawyer, and must resolve their disputes out of court, behind closed doors, with only their employer and a private arbitrator. The NLRB has found these forced arbitration agreements interfere with workers’ right to engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid and protection, in violation of the NLRA.