Anti-Worker Eugene Scalia Has No Business Leading the Labor Department

Trump Once Again Wants a Federal Agency Run by an Enemy of Its Mission


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumer watchdog group Allied Progress today called on the Senate to reject President Trump’s expected choice of Eugene Scalia to be the next Secretary of Labor based on his well-documented animus for worker’s rights. Scalia’s career has been built on attacks against the minimum wage and a history of defending corporations accused of illegally mistreating whistleblowers and union organizers. Also disqualifying is Scalia’s reputation as a “one-man scourge” against the Wall Street reforms put in place to protect workers following the financial crisis. Like Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Mick Mulvaney and Tom Price before him, Scalia would be the latest Trump official out to cripple the agency they’re running from within.

“The good news is there’s no mystery what Eugene Scalia stands for. The bad news is it’s for selling out workers to enrich Wall Street CEOs and corporations that ship jobs overseas,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for consumer watchdog group Allied Progress. “Eugene Scalia would be to worker’s rights what Secretary DeVos has been to public education – a wrecking ball. The Labor Secretary is supposed to be the Advocate-in-Chief for America’s hard-working men and women. Instead, Trump picked the go-to lawyer for corporations when they’re accused of illegal anti-work behavior like union busting or firing whistleblowers. This is the guy Wall Street turned to first to jam up the courts with time-wasting legal challenges against the reforms that came after the financial crisis.”

Added Funk: “On the same day the Democratic-led House voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, Trump tapped a guy who trashed President Obama’s efforts to make the wage more livable. This is not someone concerned about the income inequality crisis in America, and Scalia would offer no help for workers hoping to climb into the middle class. The sooner the Senate recognizes that and rejects his nomination, the better.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Eugene Scalia: A “One-Man Scourge” Against Dodd-Frank, Opponent Of Minimum Wage, A Defender Of Wal-Mart Against Whistleblowers And Employees, And A Champion Of Union-Busting Corporations.

Eugene Scalia Has Been Seen As A “One-Man Scourge” Against Dodd-Frank, Who “Single-Handedly Slow[ed] Its Rollout To A Snail’s Pace”—The National Law Review Even Called Him A “Visionary” For His Efforts To Stymy Financial Regulators.

Eugene Scalia Was Seen As “A One-Man Scourge” Against Dodd-Frank Financial Reforms, Who “Single-Handedly Slow[ed] Its Rollout To A Snail’s Pace.” “In less than five years, the 50-year-old son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has become a one-man scourge to the reformers who won a hard-fought battle to pass the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to rein in the out-of-control financial sector. So far, he’s prevailed in three of the six suits he’s filed against the law, single-handedly slowing its rollout to a snail’s pace. As of May [2014], a little more than half of the nearly four-year-old law’s rules had been finalized and another 25 percent hadn’t even been drafted. Much of that breathing room for Wall Street is thanks to Scalia, who has deployed a hyperliteral, almost absurdist series of procedural challenges to unnerve the bureaucrats charged with giving the legislation teeth.” [Patrick Caldwell, “Did You Know That Antonin Scalia’s Son Is Sabotaging Wall Street Reform?,”Mother Jones, July/August 2014]

Eugene Scalia’s “Success Challenging Federal Regulations” Has Been Profiled By Bloomberg BusinessweekAnd The Wall StreetJournal – The National Law Review  EvenCalled Him A “‘Visionary’” For His Work Against Financial Regulators.  “His success challenging federal regulations has been profiled in a Bloomberg Businessweek article titled ‘Suing the Government? Call Scalia,’ and a Wall Street Journal article titled ‘Another Scalia Vexes Regulators.’ The National Law Journal recognized Mr. Scalia as a ‘Visionary’ for his litigation against financial regulatory agencies, and the Nation magazine has called him a ‘fearsome litigator.’ He is a senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal agency that makes recommendations to Congress and the Executive Branch on ways to improve the administrative process.” [“Eugene Scalia,” Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, accessed 07/19/19]

In 2014, Eugene Scalia Opposed President Obama’s Efforts To Raise The Minimum Wage For Federal Workers, Questioning His Knowledge About “Basic Economics” And Arguing He Was “Misusing” His Authority.

In February 2014, Eugene Scalia Co-Authored A Washington PostPiece Criticizing President Obama’s Efforts To Raise The Minimum Wage For Federal Workers, Arguing That “Obama’s Judgment About Basic Economics Is Worse Than Carter’s” And That Obama Was “Misusing” His Authority. “Obama asks us to conclude that the government spends less when it requires workers to be paid more. The point is not simply that in this instance, at least, Obama’s judgment about basic economics is worse than Carter’s. It is also that presidents have been misusing their procurement authority by making increasingly implausible claims on matters they know little about so they can further ends unrelated to saving taxpayer dollars.” [Eugene Scalia and Rachel Mondl, “Obama’s minimum-wage increase is on shaky legal ground,” The Washington Post, 02/20/14]

  • “In setting a $10.10 minimum wage last week for workers on federal contracts, President Obama acted on his State of the Union vow to use executive powers to bypass Congress “wherever and whenever” he deems it necessary. But the legal basis for the president’s order is shaky and, if challenged in court, could diminish the presidential powers that Obama seeks to expand.” [Eugene Scalia and Rachel Mondl, “Obama’s minimum-wage increase is on shaky legal ground,” The Washington Post, 02/20/14]

Eugene Scalia Defended Wal-Mart As It Fought Lawsuits “Accusing It Of Illegally Firing Corporate Whistleblowers” And As The Corporation Fought Against A Maryland Law Requiring It To Help Cover Its Employees’ Healthcare Costs.

Eugene Scalia Was Hired By Wal-Mart To Defend The Merchandise Giant In Court As It Faced Lawsuits Accusing It Of Illegally Firing Corporate Whistleblowers.” “After his tenure as the solicitor for the Labor Department, Scalia was hired by Wal-Mart Stores in 2005 to defend the merchandise giant in court as it faced lawsuits accusing it of illegally firing corporate WeWwhistleblowers.” [Seung Min Kim and Damian Paletta, “Trump to nominate Eugene Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court justice, as his next secretary of Labor,” The Washington Post, 07/18/19]

Eugene Scalia Also Represented Wal-Mart As It Fought Against A Maryland Law Requiring Large Companies To “Spend At Least 8 Percent Of Their Payroll Costs On Health Care.” “In 2006, he helped Walmart triumph in a prominent fight against a Maryland law that would have required companies with more than 10,000 workers to either spend at least 8 percent of their payroll costs on health care, or pay into a state Medicaid fund.” [Maggie Haberman, Noam Scheiber and Michael Crowley, “Trump to Nominate Eugene Scalia for Labor Secretary Job,” The New York Times, 07/18/19]

Eugene Scalia Defended Boeing As It Was Accused Of Illegally Threatening A Union And Attempting To Force It To Agree To A “No-Strike Clause” In Its Labor Agreement.

Eugene Scalia Defended Boeing In “A Politically Charged Case” In Which A Union Accused Boeing Of Violating Labor Law By “Threatening” To Move Operations Unless It Could Include A “No-Strike Clause In Its Contract.”“Mr. Scalia also defended Boeing in a politically charged case. A union representing the company’s workers in Washington State argued that Boeing had violated labor law by threatening to open another assembly plant in South Carolina unless the union agreed to a no-strike clause in its contract.” [Maggie Haberman, Noam Scheiber and Michael Crowley, “Trump to Nominate Eugene Scalia for Labor Secretary Job,” The New York Times, 07/18/19]

The Obama Administration’s National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel Brought A Case Against Boeing Over The Dispute. “The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board under President Barack Obama brought a case against the company, which the union ultimately abandoned when it reached a deal to raise wages and expand its presence in Washington. But the case set off an intense backlash against the labor board among Republicans in Congress. The company and its Republican defenders derided the case as frivolous.” [Maggie Haberman, Noam Scheiber and Michael Crowley, “Trump to Nominate Eugene Scalia for Labor Secretary Job,” The New York Times, 07/18/19]

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