From [HERE] and [HERE] The magnitude of a Supreme Court nomination should not be underestimated; it comes with a lifetime appointment to the bench, with far-reaching, sometimes life-or-death implications. No one understands that better than Alphonse Maddin.
On a freezing-cold night in January 2009, Alphonse Maddin was driving a truck, employed by TransAm Trucking, of Olathe, Kansas. In a statement before the press recently, Maddin recalled his ordeal:
“I was hauling a load of meat through the state of Illinois. After stopping to resolve a discrepancy in the location to refuel, the brakes on the trailer froze. I contacted my employer, and they arranged for a repair unit to come to my location.” Waiting in the freezing cold, Maddin fell asleep.
The African-American trucker went on: “I awoke three hours later to discover that I could not feel my feet, my skin was burning and cracking, my speech was slurred, and I was having trouble breathing. The temperature that night was roughly 27 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. The heater in the cabin was not producing heat, and the temperature gauge in the truck was reading minus 7 degrees below zero. After informing my employer of my physical condition, they responded by telling me to simply hang in there. … I started having thoughts that I was going to die. My physical condition was fading rapidly. I decided to try to detach the trailer from the truck and drive to safety.”
He did so, and for taking that action to save his own life, he was fired.
Maddin sued, and the Department of Labor ordered his reinstatement, with back pay. TransAm Trucking appealed, and the case was argued before the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Among the three judges hearing the case was Neil Gorsuch. Maddin’s attorney, labor lawyer Robert Fetter, recalled:
“There were five or six cases before that court that morning, and we were the last. Judge Gorsuch was neutral, or even affable, as the cases proceeded. Then, when our case came up, he became noticeably hostile. … He was not folksy or oh goshy,” Fetter said, comparing Gorsuch that day with the nominee’s demeanor at last week’s hearings. “It was like night and day.”
Maddin summed up the ordeal and the legal battle that followed, saying: “I disputed my termination from TransAm Trucking and ultimately won. This was a seven-year battle. Seven different judges heard my case. One of those judges found against me. That judge was Neil Gorsuch.” [MORE]