Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Bush Court strikes again.

From Tapped, I see that the Bush Court - those would be Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Roberts, and Alito - has struck again:

As Ruth Bader Ginsburg notes, the evidence of gender discrimination in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear, decided today by the Supreme Court, is unambiguous:

"Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubber's plant in Gadsden, Alabama, from 1979 until her retirement in 1998. For most of those years, she worked as an area manager, a position largely occupied by men. Initially, Ledbetter's salary was in line with the salaries of men performing substantially similar work. Over time, however, her pay slipped in comparison to the pay of male area managers with equal or less seniority. By the end of 1997, Ledbetter was the only woman working as an area manager and the pay discrepancy between Ledbetter and her 15 male counterparts was stark: Ledbetter was paid $3,727 per month; the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236."

Despite this, and contrary to the judgment of the EEOC, the Court by a bare 5-4 majority threw out the discrimination claim she brought under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Court -- in an opinion, natch, written by its arch-reactionary newest member -- argued that Ledbetter failed to challenge the initial discriminatory pay decision within the required 180 days, and the ongoing pay discrimination did not constitute an "unlawful employment practice." As Ginsburg points out, this reading of the statute makes little sense; unlike with a firing, both because an employee may not be aware of the discriminatory nature of their pay until much later, and moreover it is illogical to hold that only an initial decision to discriminate but not the discriminatory pay itself constitutes an unlawful practice. The effect of the case is to insulate employers from wage discrimination claims as long as they can hide the evidence from the employee being discriminated against for 180 days, a result contrary to the purpose of the statute that is in no way compelled by its language.

The Democrats should have filibustered Alito. Hell, they should have filibustered Roberts, to improve the chances of an Alito filibuster. But they didn't. I won't hold Roberts or Alito against those Senators who voted for cloture on them, but I will hold Roberts and Alito against those Senators who voted for confirmation.

Especially the Republicans who are up for re-election in 2008:

Alexander (R-TN), Allard (R-CO), Chambliss (R-GA), Cochran (R-MS), Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Dole (R-NC), Domenici (R-NM), Enzi (R-WY), Graham (R-SC), Hagel (R-NE), Inhofe (R-OK), McConnell (R-KY), Roberts (R-KS), Sessions (R-AL), Smith (R-OR), Stevens (R-AK), Sununu (R-NH), and Warner (R-VA).

I'd marvel at the number of "moderates" on the list, if it weren't for the fact that the same "moderates" appear on every list of those responsible for enabling this administration.

Norm Coleman, Susan Coleman, Gordon Smith - as well as our own Saxby Chambliss - when they voted for Alito, they voted for this decision.