Days of Change

Judge Gorsuch and the Case of the Frozen Freight | March 22, 2017

For whatever reason, I have been fascinated by the Democrats using Judge Neil Gorsuch’s dissent in an appeals case to promote the “Republicans are heartless and cruel” trope in confirmation hearings. It actually says a lot about the law and how politics ruins it.

In short, Alphonse Maddin was a truck driver who missed a fuel stop and pulled over to find it. Upon restating his vehicle, he found that the brakes were locked in place and he called the company for a repair truck. While waiting, he discovered that the heater wasn’t working and felt he was slowly freezing. He contacted the company and told them he was un-hitching his rig, driving somewhere to get warm and that he would go back to the trailer when the repair truck arrived, which was apparently 15 minutes later. He was eventually terminated.

Let’s skip ahead to the politics of this. Democrats are using this case because truck drivers are a conservative audience, but an opinion allowing the firing to stand supports cruel businesses. Plus, we’ve all been let go for unfair reasons.

The problem is that no one but Democrats want to mix their economic populism with the Islam-loving, bathroom sharing liberalism of that part. Gorsuch was not asked to rule on working conditions, but a case cobbled together where Maddin’s lawyer argued that the company fired him for whistle-blowing on telling him to operate an unsafe vehicle. For one thing, he didn’t blow the whistle. For another, he didn’t operate the vehicle, unless sitting in the vehicle while it was really cold is considered an unsafe condition.

What was going on was a minor case of judicial activism. I have no idea if the company or Maddin was responsible for checking the heat and the brakes on a truck before he left, but breakdowns are not covered under OSHA. This case was literally about a lawyer arguing the company was mean to an employee, so use this excuse to make them hire the guy back. Every damn one of the judges went along with this except for Gorsuch. Gorsuch saw it as a matter of law. Sometimes the law doesn’t kiss your boo-boo.

I can see why Trump liked him.


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