Opinion Outpost May 24


Overtime pay change

Major aspects of the overtime regulation are premised on a traditional view of what it means to work and on a traditional view of compensation structure. These factors are not easily applicable to the 21st century.

As real GDP growth continues to hover around 2 percent, largely driven by declining productivity, the new overtime rules and their negative impact on innovative tech startups are bound to exacerbate this trend more so than alleviate it.

— Jon Hartley,

Liya Palagashvili



Here’s how Labor Secretary Tom Perez … put it to me: “This rule is about ensuring middle-class jobs pay middle-class wages … It stands for the idea that hard work should be rewarded, that if you work extra, you should get paid extra.”

(This is) an executive rule change, not legislation. That means the fate of the new overtime rule is tied to the outcome of the election.

— Jared Bernstein

The Washington Post


Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan put it best:

“This regulation hurts the very people it alleges to help. By mandating overtime pay at a much higher salary threshold, many small businesses and nonprofits will simply be unable to afford skilled workers and be forced to eliminate salaried positions, complete with benefits, altogether.”

— Kelly Riddell

The Washington Times


The problem with the current low salary threshold is that as wages have risen, people who ought to be receiving overtime protection have lost it.

The new rule is part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to use regulations and executive actions governing federal employees and contractors to improve wages and working conditions.

— Times Editorial Board

Los Angeles Times

Supreme Court nomination

Nearly two months after President Obama tapped Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the Senate has failed to schedule so much as a hearing on his nomination.

When did it become predictable, much less acceptable, for Congress to stop doing its job during election years? If the Senate follows through on its plan to ignore Garland’s nomination, it would set a new and appalling precedent …

— Elizabeth Esty,

Chris Van Hollen

Los Angeles Times


Although many court watchers are lamenting its deadlocked status, there are actually significant benefits to an equally divided court …

As time goes on, and the justices have to compromise more — a skill they might find useful in the future — the American people may find that they don’t need a single nine-member court to solve the country’s most disputed legal questions.

— Eric Segall

The New York Times


It (the Constitution) provides that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States.”

Note that the president has two powers: the power to “nominate” and the separate power to “appoint.”

The threat that the president could proceed with an appointment if the Senate failed to do so would force the Senate to do its job.

— Gregory L. Diskant

The Washington Post


Advice and consent is a prerequisite for appointment, not a “constitutional duty” of the Senate.

If such a duty to hold a vote does exist, it would mean that the Senate has repeatedly violated on the hundreds of occasions when it chose not to hold a vote on the nominations of judges and other presidential appointees …

The President has no power to bypass the confirmation process if the Senate refuses to cooperate with him.

— Ilya Somin

The Washington Post

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