Events Thursday sharply illustrated Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s priorities:
* ANTI-GAY: She boasted of her intervention in a state court case in Kentucky defending a T-shirt maker who refused to make his services available for an order of T-shirts for a local “Pride Festival.” The festival supports equal treatment of LGBT people. It’s a religious freedom issue, see?
In the brief, the attorneys general state: “It is one thing to compel a business to serve people on an equal basis without regard to sexual orientation; it is quite another thing to compel a person to print t-shirts that communicate a message that he or she believes to be profoundly wrong.”
And making it difficult for others to enjoy the fruits of the constitution equally is also quite a thing.
Also: Religious freedom in Rutledge’s eyes does not extend to Judge Wendell Griffen and his desire to depict the crucified Christ on Good Friday. But that’s not my point today.
* ANTI-WORKER: A coalition of attorneys general was at work in another venue yesterday, but this is NOT an interest Rutledge shares. Officials from 16 other states are challenging a Trump administration Labor Department proposal to snag tip income from workers and give it to their bosses.
The change, announced in early December by the U.S. Department of Labor, would rescind portions of a 2011 Obama rule that mandated tipped workers keep their tips. Under the proposed rule change, certain employers could pool tips to share with “back of the house” workers, like cooks and dishwashers, to ensure more equitable pay between tipped and nontipped workers, the Labor Department said — a concept supported by the Illinois Restaurant Association
But [Illinois Attorney General Lisa] Madigan and others say the rule change would allow employers to take the money that tipped workers earned and pocket it for their own gain. A half million Illinois workers could lose their tips under the rule change, Madigan’s office said. On Monday, the 17 attorneys general, all Democrats, co-signed formal comments in opposition to the proposed change.
“The Department of Labor’s proposal is outrageous. Not only do workers deserve the money they have earned for the service they provided, but millions of customers who leave tips expect that money to go to the employee who helped them,” Madigan said in a statement.
General Rutledge? General Rutledge?