Monday, September 05, 2016

Phyllis Schlafly, R.I.P.

Rabid reactionary right-wing lawyer PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY died today at age 92 in St. Louis.

From Alton, Illinois, Schlafly's well-funded national propaganda campaign kept the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) from being adopted.

She claimed to be a Christian and a patriot, writing lots of "non-books" (my mother's phrase).

Pray for Schlafly's sick, twisted, tormented, bigoted, racist, anti-feminist, anti-ERA, homophobic soul, a Goldwaterite, John Bircher, a Pharisee and a bully, who earned a Washington University law degree late in life, after defeating ERA.

In 1981, President RONALD WILSON REAGAN named this rich aristocratic crackpot ninny to the once-prestigious Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) -- only three (3) years after she graduated law school -- a blatant political payoff affording her twice each year free, government-funded round-trip airfare, meals and hotel accommodations in Washington, D.C. every June and December.  As an ACUS member, Schlafly also had status as a Special Government Employee.

Background: I attended ACUS meetings when Schlafly was a member -- she had no contributions to make to ACUS. She had no experience in or expertise with federal administrative law. REAGAN's sending Phyllis Schlafly to ACUS was not unlike the Roman Emperor Caligula, who sent his horse (Incitatus) to the Senate. Before REAGAN, ACUS was said to be a "Cabinet-level agency," which under Presidents REAGAN and BUSH was dominated by corporate lawyers, right wing ideologues and government lawyers and voted to endorse anti-transparency, anti-consumer and anti-worker proposals.   I wrote an article, "Business as Usual" about ACUS for Common Cause Magazine, published in January 1989. Working with my mentor, then U.S. Department of Labor Chief Administrative Law Judge Nahum Litt, I am proud to say that we helped expose ACUS, which Congress abolished, 1995-2010.  Judge Litt called ACUS "the Heritage Foundation metastasized," an adroit nickname that stuck.

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