Legislative Alert | Labor Law

Letter to Senators Opposing the Nomination of Rossie Alston to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Virginia

Dear Senator:

The AFL-CIO urges you to oppose the nomination of Rossie Alston to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Our strong opposition to this nomination is rooted in Mr. Alston’s role as a Staff Attorney for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation from 1984 until 1989. There can be no doubt that Mr. Alston’s past ties to the Foundation have colored his views of labor unions.

The Foundation’s political agenda is to cripple, if not destroy, all labor unions, both public and private, through legislation and litigation. Indeed, the Foundation website touts its record of “assisting thousands of employees in nearly 300 legal actions nationwide in courts and administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board.” The Foundation has provided lawyers for most of the major anti-union cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the latest of which was Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 decided in 2018.

As a Foundation Staff Attorney, Mr. Alston was charged with implementing its aggressive anti-union legal program which, at its core, is about making it harder for people to form unions and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. The fact that he accepted this position in the first instance, and then remained there for five years, leaves us with no doubt that he cannot be a fair and impartial adjudicator of any legal claims involving labor unions. We therefore urge you to oppose his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.


William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department