WiIl Trump's SCOTUS Nominee Make It Harder For Minorities And Women To Access The Court?

Jul 20, 2018

Producer's Note: This is the final *weekly* episode of 90.5 WESA's The Confluence. The team is taking a short hiatus and returning as a daily program Monday, August 27, 2018. Look for it live Monday through Friday from 9-10 a.m. Eastern.

In the wake of President Trump's Supreme Court nomination of D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Democratic senators and civil rights advocates have been quick to voice their opposition.

Many say they fear a 5-4 conservative leaning U.S. Supreme Court could strip advances made by women and minorities over the last half century. Advocates cite Trump's promise during the campaign to reverse the landmark decision to legalize abortion, Roe v. Wade.

Attorney Sue Freitsche of the Women's Law Project and WESA legal analyst David Harris join the show to discuss how Kavanaugh could shift the court.

Coming up... 

In Janus v. AFSCME, the Court ruled public-sector unions could no longer charge agency fees to non-members, even if those non-members recieve the benefits of union-negotiated contracts and representation. The ruling is widely considered a blow to unions. Labor leaders say not only will they lose revenue from fees, but existing members might opt-out since they can get the same benefits without paying dues. 

Brad Bumsted of The Caucus explains how Pennsylvanians could be affected.

Next in the program... 

The spotted lanternfly is threatening crops in eastern Pennsylvania. Ticks are making themselves at home in the Japanese barberry and the number of confirmed rabies cases are climbing. How is the state government working to control these pests, and how can research help? 

Reporter Susan Phillips from StateImpact Pennsylvania and outdoor editor John Hayes of the Pittburgh-Post Gazette discuss the pests, the plants that house them and how the public and private sectors are working to eliminate recent invaders.

And finally... 

Rob Rossi, the new editor of the Pittsburgh City Paper, joins the show to talk about the future of the storied alt-weekly.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, returns from 9 to 10 a.m., Monday, August 27, 2018, as 90.5 WESA’s newest daily program. Host Kevin Gavin will be joined by producers Megan Harris and Kiley Koscinski to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find previous episodes of The Confluence here.