As we detailed here, Solicitor General Paul Clement made the surprise announcement Wednesday that he is leaving the Justice Department on June 2. High praise for Clement was heard from from many quarters. But not everyone is sorry to see him go. "Paul Clement did not leave soon enough," said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in a statement. "He kicked the cause of employee freedom from compulsory unionism in the teeth once again before heading out the door."
Clement's latest offense against the right-to-work movement was a brief he filed with the Supreme Court May 12 in Locke v. Karass, which the Court will consider next term. The foundation is supporting 20 Maine state employees who object to their compulsory agency fees being used to fund nationwide union litigation far removed from the workers' local bargaining concerns. Clement's brief says it is constitutional for fees to be used in at least some kinds of pooling arrangements with other unions for litigation, though it suggests limits on the use. His brief can be found here.
The standard Clement uses is not good enough, says Gleason, who asks on his blog "Is Bush's Top Lawyer Taking Orders from Big Labor?" He says Clement has been soft on unions in past right-to-work cases as well.
Other reaction from Supreme Court practitioners to Clement's departure has been far more positive. A sampling: