State law, crafted behind closed doors with UFW, might violate Constitution
A law that California politicians rigged behind closed doors with the UFW might violate the state and federal constitutions, a federal court has found.
The law was crafted to target employers at odds with the UFW, and by extension, the workers who don’t want the UFW to represent them.
The decision is a humiliating setback for US District Judge Dale A. Drozd, an Obama appointee who was on the bench for barely a year. A panel of judges of the Ninth Circuit Court savaged Drozd’s decision to dismiss the case of Gerawan Farming and Fowler Packing, two large Central Valley employers, who said that lawmakers rigged the law, AB 1513, to give all California employers immunity from penalties and lawsuits – with the exception of three firms being sued by the UFW.
The lawmaker who wrote the bill admitted that the law was intended to punish employers who ran afoul of the UFW.
Cutoff dates built into legislation coincide with UFW lawsuits
In its written decision, the Ninth Circuit found that the cutoff dates in the law, which protected companies from penalties lawsuits over back pay, were carefully crafted to coincide with UFW lawsuits.
Here’s what the court said:
“Each cut-off date corresponds, within a matter of weeks (or even a matter of days), to the corresponding filing dates of the cases against Fowler, Gerawan, and Delano. Accepting Plaintiffs’ allegations as true, as we must treat this at this stage of the litigation, we can conceive of no other reason why the California legislature would choose to carve out these three employers other than to respond to the demands of a political constituent.
“But here, we cannot imagine a plausible legitimate basis for the package of legislative classifications set by the legislature in AB 1513’s carve-outs, which requires us to conclude that Plaintiffs have alleged a plausible equal protection claim.”
For the average citizen, that means that Fowler and Gerawan convinced the higher court that the UFW-rigged law stands a good chance of being found to be unconstitutional. So the Ninth Circuit judges allowed the case to proceed to determine whether or not the law itself is even legal.
Political hack judge
“Drozd isn’t a real jurist,” said a Pick Justice activist after reading the court’s decision. “He’s such political scum that he didn’t care what the facts were. He just knew that he was on the government’s and UFW’s side.”
Drodz has a reputation as a political and constitutional extremist. Opponents of his appointment to the federal judgeship cited his often-repeated views that legal scholars consider unconstitutional.
Law was designed to help UFW retaliate
The case “really focused on the idea that you can’t have a legislative process that singles out and discriminates against two growers at the behest of one union,” said David Schwarz, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. “That’s not an appropriate way to make legislative policy.”