In Oklahoma and West Virgina and Missouri, teachers have led amazingly successful battles against Republican budget cutting and tax breaks for the wealthy. Although the Supreme Court’s Janus decision sought to cripple the ability of public-sector unions to engage in politics, recent polls show that unions are more popular than ever. Randi Weingarten comments on the big picture of unions and politics—she’s president of the American Federation of Teachers, with 1.7 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.
Also, at the California Global Climate Action Summit, in San Francisco next week, all the world’s major nations will be represented, except for our own government. Mark Hertsgaard reports on how California, under Governor Jerry Brown, has taken the lead in fighting climate change—and how climate activists have organized at the upcoming summit to demand that the governor end oil and gas drilling and phase out oil and gas production. Mark wrote the cover story for The Nation’s special issue on climate politics.
Plus: Some questions for Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, from David Cole. The legal director of the ACLU and legal-affairs correspondent for The Nation says some questions—about current cases—are inappropriate for Democrats to ask in the upcoming confirmation hearings; but there are others—on Kavanaugh’s legal philosophy, and on his past statements and decisions—that he should be required to answer.