The Supreme Court this morning issued a landmark decision in the case of Janus versus AFSCME, ruling 5-4 that labor unions may not collect "agency" or "fair share" fees from workers who do not want to join the union in a union shop. The Court had ruled 41 years ago that unions could charge only for services that non-union members benefited from, such as negotiating, collective bargaining, and grievance procedures. The ruling is a major blow to organized labor. Later this afternoon, Justice Kennedy retired, opening up a supreme court seat for Trump to make a nomination.
Beyond Nuclear with Kevin Kamps is Loud & Clear's regular Wednesday segment. The hosts and Kevin look at nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Today they focus on the safest way to hold nuclear waste, as opposed to the corporate-led schemes currently in place that place nearby residents and residents all along the nuclear waste transport lines under great risk. Brian and John speak with Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell.
A 28-year-old political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in New York yesterday. Crowley is the fourth-ranking member of the House Democratic leadership and was expected to someday become Speaker. He had run unopposed in his last seven races. And despite spending more than $1.2 million to Ocasio-Cortez's $128,000, he could garner only 42 percent. Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com.
The Trump Administration has reversed its policy on family separations at the border for any family that is willing to be deported immediately. This was after a federal judge in California ruled that the policy was illegal and that the Department of Homeland Security had 30 days to return all separated children to their parents. Matt Adams, the legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, joins the show.
FBI agent Peter Strzok will testify behind closed doors today before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Strzok is expected to hear some very pointed questions 375 text messages that he exchanged with Justice Department lawyer Lisa Paige during the 2016 presidential campaign while he was investigating Hillary Clinton's email server. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of The Frozen Republic, The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War, joins Brian and John.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is trying to limit one of his agency's most powerful tools to manage or block miners and developers by removing the effective veto power the EPA has over permits to dump waste into waterways. Scott Edwards, co-director of the Food & Water Justice project at Food & Water Watch and an attorney who has prosecuted U.S. energy companies in Canadian courts for contamination of waterways, joins the show.
The Trump Administration appears to be making increasingly common use of sanctions or the threat of sanctions in its foreign and trade policy. The US will place sanctions on Turkey, a NATO ally, when it takes delivery of a Russian missile defense system. Washington is asking allies to phase out the purchases of all Iranian oil by November. And trade sanctions on China are ratcheting up. Brian and John speak with international affairs and security analyst Mark Sleboda.
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