Friday, March 24, 2017

Trucker vs. Frozen-Hearted Gorsuch

Alphonse Maddin - AP Photo by Mike Householder

What a nice guy Neil Gorsuch seems to be as he grins and says "Gosh golly" in answer to questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But the lawyer for Alphonse Maddin aka "the frozen trucker" is speaking out on how heartless Gorsuch is.

When Maddin was fired for abandoning his trailer for 30 minutes to avoid freezing to death, and sued his employer for wrongful termination, Gorsuch sided with the employer.

Maddin was never employed again as a driver.

I first heard about this case on Tuesday while listening to Democratic senators question Gorsuch.

It turns out that the shortened version of the story pales in comparison to the actual details of the life-and-death situation as described by Maddin's lawyer.  Listen to it in this link from Robert Fetter's interview yesterday with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.

Maddin had curled up to sleep in his cab in 20-degrees-below weather.  He was wakened by a phone call from his cousin.  He was incoherent in the phone call.  

His feet were so frozen he could not feel them.  He realized he had to drive to the nearest gas station to save his life.

On Tuesday I listened to Gorsuch explain his ruling against the trucker.  It was all about the technicalities of the order by the dispatcher: "Don't drive away."  He did drive away with only the cab of his truck because the brakes on his trailer (of frozen meat) were frozen.  He went for help.  He returned 30 minutes later after hearing that the repair vehicle--delayed over three hours--had finally arrived at the truck.  

I don't want a Supreme Court justice who hews so closely to the letter of the law that he agrees with this man being fired.  I don't want a justice who in this case, Hobby Lobby, and many others has sided with the business owner, not the employee.

Here's Maddin commenting this week on what it's like to be part of public hearings on the Supreme Court nominee:

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