U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, the Bush administration's top lawyer, has just inflicted more damage on America's working men and women laboring under compulsory unionism. Does President Bush even know what his administration's lawyer is doing?
This week, the too-clever-by-half lawyer filed a brief in the National Right to Work Foundation's latest pending U.S. Supreme Court case, Locke v. Karass, and has taken a position that surely must please the union bosses. The High Court in Locke will examine the criteria for determining how much non-union members must pay to a union where they do not enjoy the fundamental protection of a Right to Work law.
Foundation attorneys argue that the U.S. Constitution does not permit the forced extraction of dues or fees for any expenses not directly tied to representational activity in the employees' actual bargaining unit.
But Mr. Clement apparently has no issue with forcing Maine state workers to pay for union activism anywhere in the world, so long as the union satisfies a vague and weak two-part test. In practical terms, Clement's standard would further empower union bosses to charge workers for almost anything under the sun, unless a worker gets a lawyer and forces them to prove that the forced fees are being used for narrowly prescribed purposes.
This is not the first time that U.S. Solicitor General Clement has taken positions supportive of compulsory unionism. He adopted the AFL-CIO's position and seriously undermined employee freedom during oral argument in the Foundation's Davenport v. WEA case at the U.S. Supreme Court.
With "friends" like Bush's Solicitor General, who needs enemies?