09.20.19

ROUNDUP: Murray, Democrats Grill Labor Secretary Nominee Eugene Scalia On His Anti-Worker Record

Washington Post:Eugene Scalia … faced harsh questioning during his confirmation hearing on Thursday as Democrats criticized the former lobbyist’s record defending corporations in legal matters against workers and regulators.

 

Bloomberg Law: Labor secretary nominee Eugene Scalia tried to fend off concerns about his lengthy record defending corporations in court during a Sept. 19 Senate confirmation hearing.”

 

The Hill: “Democrats ripped Eugene Scalia, President Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department … arguing his past writings made them question how he could fairly administer the law…”

 

Washington Examiner: “'Secretary of corporate interests': Democrats portray labor nominee Eugene Scalia as against workers”

 

Murray: “Instead of nominating a Secretary of Labor, President Trump has nominated a Secretary of Corporate Interests.”

 

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with other Democratic members of the committee, grilled Labor Secretary nominee Eugene Scalia on his record of defending corporations and trampling on worker rights. Members questioned him on his long history as an elite corporate lawyer, as well as his potential need to recuse himself from a rule involving advice for retirement savers and his ability to defend LGBTQ people’s workplace rights considering his troubling past writings.

 

See initial coverage of the Eugene Scalia’s hearing below:

 

Washington Post: An ex-lobbyist is Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary. Democrats found anti-gay op-eds he wrote in college

 

“Eugene Scalia, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Labor, faced harsh questioning during his confirmation hearing on Thursday as Democrats criticized the former lobbyist’s record defending corporations in legal matters against workers and regulators.”

 

“Scalia, a lawyer and son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is a partner at the Washington law firm Gibson Dunn, where he has represented companies like Walmart, Ford, UPS and others in workers’ rights claims and matters. Democrats in the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee were quick to point out his track record. Instead of nominating someone who understands the challenges working people face and will fight for them, President Trump has chosen a powerful corporate lawyer who has devoted his career to protecting big corporations and CEOs from accountability and attacking workers’ rights protections and economic security,’ Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the highest ranking Democrat on the committee, said in an opening statement. ‘If there’s one consistent pattern in Mr. Scalia’s long career, it’s hostility to the very workers he would be charged with protecting and the very laws he would be charged with enforcing if he were to be confirmed.’”[WaPo, 9/19/19]

 

Bloomberg Law: Scalia Defends His Ties to Big Business in Senate Hearing

 

Labor secretary nominee Eugene Scalia tried to fend off concerns about his lengthy record defending corporations in court during a Sept. 19 Senate confirmation hearing. Scalia looked to counter Democrat and union criticisms about his representation of many Fortune 500 companies.”

 

“Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), however, said she would wait until after the hearing and after reviewing his background to make a decision. … Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the committee’s ranking member, was less indecisive. She said after the hearing that she plans to oppose Scalia, adding she still believes members needed more time to thoroughly vet him.”

 

“‘Workers and families across the country are counting on us to take our vetting responsibility seriously—especially since President Trump clearly won’t,’ Murray said in her opening remarks.” [Bloomberg Law, 9/19/19]

 

The Hill: Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights

 

“Democrats ripped Eugene Scalia, President Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department, over his views on LGBTQ rights at a hearing on Thursday, arguing his past writings made them question how he could fairly administer the law for that community.”

 

“In her opening statement, Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the panel’s top Democrat, called Scalia an ‘elite corporate lawyer who has spent his career fighting for corporations and against workers.’” [The Hill, 9/19/19]

 

AP: Labor Nominee Says He Won't Be Influenced By Corporate Work

 

“Scalia's nomination is opposed by the AFL-CIO, which has described him as a union-busting lawyer who has eroded labor rights and consumer protections.”

 

“The committee's top Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, said Scalia ‘is an elite corporate lawyer who has spent his career fighting for corporations and against workers.’”[AP, 9/19/19]

 

Washington Examiner: 'Secretary of corporate interests': Democrats portray labor nominee Eugene Scalia as against workers

 

“Senate Democrats tried hard at the nomination hearing for President Trump's labor secretary nominee, private sector management-side attorney Eugene Scalia, to portray him as too beholden to corporations to effectively represent workers' interests. Several also questioned whether he would defend workers facing sexual discrimination.

 

“‘Instead of nominating a secretary of labor, president Trump has nominated a secretary of corporate interests’ said Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. ‘If there is one consistent pattern in Mr. Scalia's long career, it is hostility to the very workers that he would be charged with protecting and the very laws he would be charged with enforcing if he were to be confirmed.’”

 

“Murray cited Scalia's role in striking down the Obama Labor Department's ‘fiduciary rule’ as evidence against him. The rule would have required all advisers managing tax-privileged retirement accounts to act in their clients' best interests. Scalia was one of the attorneys retained by the Chamber of Commerce in 2017 when it challenged the rule in court… Murray argued that the ruling put ‘billions’ worth of workers' retirement savings into jeopardy. ‘It was a common-sense rule that protected workers retirement savings by simply requiring financial advisers to put their clients' interests ahead of their own,’ she said.” [Washington Examiner, 9/19/19]

 

ABC News: It would be 'wrong' to get fired because of sexual orientation: Trump's Labor nominee

 

“Scalia has been embraced by conservatives as a person who would follow the law and court precedent. But the top Democrat on the panel, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, called him ‘an elite corporate lawyer with a long history of working for corporations and against workers.’”

 

“‘After spending a lifetime attacking the rights and dignity of working people, Scalia is ready for another chance to ruthlessly advance corporate interests,’ the AFL-CIO said in a statement. ‘His specialties include eroding labor rights, unraveling consumer protections, endangering Americans' retirement security and blaming workers for their own deaths.’” [ABC News, 9/19/19]

 

Investment News: Scalia might have to recuse himself from DOL fiduciary rule rewrite

 

“Eugene Scalia, the Trump administration's nominee to become Labor secretary, told lawmakers Thursday he might have to recuse himself from the work involved in a a reproposal of the DOL fiduciary rule, which would have raised broker standards for retirement investment advice.”

 

“Mr. Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is one of the top securities lawyers in the nation and has had an unusually successful record in cases that have overturned federal regulations.”  [Investment News, 9/19/19]

 

Courthouse News: Labor Nominee Scalia Defends Court Record in Job Cases

 

“Scalia’s practice at the large Washington, D.C., law firm has focused on employment law and Democrats said the common thread in his work has been that it consistently puts him on the side of corporations in disputes with their employees.

 

“‘Instead of nominating someone who understands the challenges working people face and will fight for them, President Trump has chosen a powerful corporate lawyer who has devoted his career to protecting big corporations and CEOs from accountability and attacking workers’ rights, protections and economic security,’ Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., said at Scalia’s nomination hearing Thursday. ‘Instead of nominating a secretary of labor, President Trump has nominated a secretary of corporate interest.’”[Courthouse News, 9/19/19]

 

Common Dreams: 'Secretary of Corporate Interests' More Like It, Say Critics of Trump's Anti-Worker Labor Nominee

 

“Progressive groups and Democratic lawmakers expressed serious concerns Thursday about corporate attorney Eugene Scalia—President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Labor Department—as the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee met to consider his nomination.”

 

"‘Instead of nominating a Secretary of Labor, President Trump has nominated a Secretary of Corporate Interests,’ declared Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the committee's ranking member. ‘If there's one consistent pattern in Mr. Scalia's long career, it's hostility to the very workers he would be charged with protecting, and the very laws he would be charged with enforcing if he were confirmed.’” [Common Dreams, 9/19/19]

 

Wall Street Journal: Trump’s Labor Nominee, Eugene Scalia, Poised to Advance in Senate

 

Democrats have characterized Mr. Scalia as having a record of hostility toward workers and said he was too close to industry.”

 

“‘We need someone who will hold companies accountable, not let them off the hook at every opportunity,’ said Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the committee. She opposes his nomination.” [WSJ, 9/19/19]

 

See the initial response to Eugene Scalia’s hearing below:

 

National Women’s Law Center

           

Scalia keeps insisting that in his previous jobs where he fought against worker rights, he was just ‘doing his job for his clients.’ What will he do when he decides his new ‘client’ is Donald Trump, who continuously attacks workers' rights? It's not hard to guess.”[NWLC, 9/19/19]

 

Fight for 15

 

“The hearing has ended. Scalia's take appeared to be that, yes, he has represented some awful corporations and ideas, but ‘that ain't me.’ The Labor Department has a mission to ‘foster, promote & develop the welfare of the wage earners.’ Eugene Scalia cannot be trusted to do that.” [Fight for 15, 9/19/19]

 

National Education Association

 

“Eugene Scalia has devoted his career to undercutting workers’ rights, protecting corporations (not employees), and threatening workers’ retirement security. For these reasons, we strongly urge the Senate to #RejectScalia as Labor Secretary.” [NEA, 9/19/19]

 

Jobs With Justice

 

We need a Secretary of Labor who will fight for our health and safety on the job and economic security of all working people. Eugene Scalia is not that person. Tell Congress to #RejectScalia.”[Jobs With Justice, 9/19/19]

 

Public Citizen

 

We're going to go out on a limb here and say that Antonin Scalia's corporate lawyer son should not be the Secretary of Labor. Demand Congress #RejectScalia.”[Public Citizen, 9/19/19]

 

Allied Progress

 

“Eugene Scalia thinks it would be ‘tired formalism’ and ‘legal fiction’ to hold companies responsible for managers who sexually harass employees. Eugene Scalia has spent his career fighting AGAINST the Labor Department's mission to protect workers' safety, wages, retirements, and rights. … Simply put, Eugene Scalia has NO business heading up the Labor Department.”[Allied Progress, 9/19/19]

 

###