Democratic Senate candidate Ted Strickland apologized Wednesday for telling union members in audio posted online this week that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death came at a “good time.”
“I mean, the death of Scalia saved labor from a terrible decision,” Strickland said, according to the audio, which was recorded during an address to the Cleveland chapter of the AFL-CIO and flagged by the Washington Examiner. “And I don’t wish anyone ill, but it happened at a good time because once that decision had been made, it would have been tough to reverse it.”
Strickland was referring to Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a Supreme Court case that was tied 4-4 in June. The decision likely would have come down against unions if Scalia, who died in February, had been on the bench. Because of the deadlock, the ruling protected the right of public unions to collect money from individuals who wanted to abstain from union activities, at least for now.
Strickland argued during his appearance at the AFL-CIO meeting that “a lot of average citizens out there don’t understand the importance of that court.”