By Janice Podolski
ACE Health, Education, and Welfare Team Member
At first, I was numb, then simply depressed when I read about Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s retirement.
We seem to be headed back to the 1950s, when wives were expected to have dinner on the table at five o’clock sharp when hubby walked in the door. Father read the paper after dinner, while the little woman cleaned up the kitchen and got the kids ready for bed.
There’s a good chance the Supreme Court will revisit Roe v. Wade if a Trump conservative justice is sworn in. Anti-choice groups have already gutted it in several states, and the president promised pro-life justices on the campaign trail.
When I grew up, I knew families with six to 12 children. Parents were happy if their children graduated from 8th grade and elated if they had a high school diploma. In fact, my father-in-law left school after 6th grade and was expected to help support his siblings as he was one of six kids. My mother-in-law was one of six children, too. Both of my parents graduated from high school, but both were one of five children. Guess they were fortunate.
Well, ladies, at least we have washing machines and dryers, so we don’t have to march down to the creek with our washboards and hang clothes on the lines in the backyard.
The Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday on collective bargaining stated that “…government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to help pay for collective bargaining,” according to the New York Times. That also hit home.
People today do not realize that most of the job-related benefits, such as healthcare, vacations, 15-minute breaks and a lunch break while working, and staffing rules were all hard-won victories by labor unions. When a union of hourly workers won a benefit, the company was often compelled to give it to their salaried staff, too.
It is also distressing to know that our President has a list of Supreme Court candidates that he was given during his campaign. Not sure who gave it to him, since I am sure he was clueless about what a SCOTUS candidate should look like on paper, but he said he is ready to start naming the next one as soon as possible.
But I intend to resist and persist. The 2018 midterm elections are next, plus lots of lobbying. We have to clean out the Senate first, because they vote for the Supreme Court nominees, then the House.
Our work has just begun.
ACE Health, Education, and Welfare Team Member Janice Podolski is a retired faculty member from the Department of Pharmacology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She was a registered nurse for fifty years and has a master’s degree in Nursing and Ph.D. in Physiology. She volunteers at Loaves & Fishes Community Services and with PADS in DuPage County.