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December 01, 2003

A Really Shitty Court Decision

I wish conservatives (or liberals) would get upset about this kind of judicial activism. This decision by the Eighth Circuit overrode a requirement by the Department of Labor that an agribusiness company provide toilets near where workers labored.

You can read through the decision, but it's a torturous bit of judicial second-guessing of the labor department with the simple goal of making exploited agricultural workers lives as miserable as humanly possible.

Apparently, demanding that a toilet be available within a quarter mile of where you labor in the fields is too much decency to ask.

And folks wonder why I hate courts that are more anti-labor than the Bush Administration itself.

Update: Thinking about this post, I'm having a stronger reaction, mostly because I know this decision will get zero attention, from the media and most liberal columnists. The right to humane working conditions is a baseline human right -- the right to take a shit in dignity is pretty much a bottomline issue. Yet there is explosive attention on the Massachusetts gay marriage decision, and zero attention on this one, and the many rightwing economic decisions by the courts.

Maybe it's just not "news" that farmworkers are treated so badly in this country.

But as long as liberals don't agitate to make this kind of court-driven economic assault "news", you'll end up with all the attention on courts being "activist" on social issues, with none of the attention on court activism on economic issues that effect working families.

Posted by Nathan at December 1, 2003 11:24 PM