"Republican candidates speak as if waging class warfare is something that Democrats have recently introduced. As if the virtual exclusion of those who can’t afford lawyers from standing up for their rights in court isn’t. As if nullifying equal employment opportunity and accommodation for disabilities on the justification of “business necessity” isn’t. Having won those class battles, business-minded Republicans now pretend that class warfare is something new, evil and underhanded.
I can think of several examples in the courts. One lawyer for the local legal aide related attending a conference where eviction was a topic. She claimed to have asked one local judge if there is ever any defense against eviction. He reportedly said no. So any negligent, ruthless, abusive landlord, who habitually lies to a captive population of seniors, can provoke a statement from a stressed senior, manipulate it out of context, and add fabrications to justify an eviction. Even if the senior makes it to the local court, the court guarantees that the landlord cannot lose.
If you have a disability and wish to be sickened, read the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the 2002 Toyota v. Williams case. Using lengthy and tortured reasoning, the High Court allowed Toyota to dispose of any employee who could fill any position but one, due to disability. Toyota merely had to institute a system of job rotation through all the positions and claim that it was “business necessity”. A plausible but transparent ploy that the rest of us can see, and the Supreme Court took great pains to justify. The monocultural Japanese are famous for their intolerance of human difference. As they say, “The nail that stands up will be hammered down.” Just ask those maimed and shamed by mercury poisoning at Minamata.
Then read the 2001 Huffman v. OPM decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on the Whistleblower Protecton Act (WPA). Courts often complain about laws that add to their dockets. This court feared that “virtually every employee who was disciplined could claim protection of the Act.” So it gutted the WPA with tortured reasoning on the definition of the word “disclose”. It held that since a supervisor involved in wrongdoing already knew about it, the subordinate who alerted the supervisor to it could not be protected from retaliation under the WPA. That’s like saying that an innocent employee in a crime mob’s allegedly legitimate business, who alerted his or her supervisor to something he or she witnessed, could not be protected from torture and murder. In order to keep its case load down, and save itself the trouble of making necessary distinctions, the Federal Circuit artificially pinned the protection of the WPA not on the non-trivial consequences of the wrongdoing and retaliation, but upon the mere circumstances of the disclosure.
It seems from these examples that judges and lawyers too often relate to the rest of us, especially those without the means to afford them, the same way that Mitt Romney is currently unemployed. Or, changing a word in a line of Shakespeare, “He jests at scars who never felt a wound.” (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, scene 2) "