Thursday, July 19, 2018

Trump Cronies take over Social Security's administrative law judges, as standards disappear.

We all have Social Security cards. But Trump just crossed that pesky "Security" part off, with a Trump executive order...I thought Republicans hated executive orders?

Trump is installing deep state right-wing cronies to judge you when you can least afford it:
Washington Post: Do you have a Social Security card? If you do, you should be concerned about how a recent executive order signed by President Trump could affect you. On July 10, the White House released an executive order ending a merit-based system for selecting federal administrative law judges, including those who hear Social Security cases. This is a big switch. (Democrats said) “The executive order will allow the Administration to appoint judges based on politics and nepotism rather than competence.” In other words, this is an under-the-radar White House court-packing plan.
Have an injury? Lose a family member? Then you may think this is a big deal: 
You would face an ALJ if you had a problem with the dollar amount in your Social Security retirement account; if there were a question about who is eligible to receive a deceased person’s benefits; or if, because of a workplace accident, injury or illness, you found yourself unable to work and you applied for disability benefits.

In every instance, you would want to know that the judge hearing your case was both competent and impartial ... you also want a judge who isn’t being pressured to deny your case for political reasons or wasn’t placed in the job because of whom they know rather than what they know. Last year alone, judges who adjudicate Social Security cases conducted 605,483 hearings, according to agency statistics
Standards Trashed by Trump: Thanks to a recent right-wing Supreme Court decision, Trump toadies decided they could use it as an excuse to destroy the SS's impartiality:
Until this month, federal agencies hired ALJ candidates with at least seven years of litigation experience; they are also required to take a six-part examination conducted by the Office of Personnel Management. Now, as a result of the president’s executive order, an agency that wants to employ an ALJ can recruit any attorney regardless of skill or experience. Competence and impartiality apparently are no longer essential; cronyism and political interference will no longer be taboo.

The Supreme Court overturned a decision by an administrative law judge at the SEC on a technicality, arguing that the judge had not been properly appointed.