Tuesday, May 29, 2007



President Clinton makes a great move-- and we owe him

I always tell all the DWT writers that we can't advocate violence-- not even against monstrosities who are destroying our nation. I've heard all the arguments and I always say, "no, we cannot advocate violence at DWT." Nor do I even support the 180 days concept which says if you do something violent to a high up fascist and you can avoid the consequences for 180 days you get a prize and can't be prosecuted. On the other hand, the five high up fascists on the U.S. Supreme Court-- Alito, Scalia, Kennedy, Roberts and that one who never says anything but passes a note to the clerk saying "What Scalia says"-- are in favor of the 180 days concept.

Many of us knew it was a big mistake for Democrats not to block the nominations of Roberts and, even worse, Alito. It wasn't just because of Roe v Wade either. Sure, these two creeps are wrong about everything but the Bush inner circle was primarily looking for judges who could always be counted on to support corporate interests over the rights of consumers and workers, judges who will favor the wealthy and powerful over the rest of us. Today's 5-4 decision can be laid right at the feet of Democrats like Reid and Schumer who sabotaged progressive and grassroots efforts to organize against a filibuster. The decision today upholds a right wing appeals court decision voiding a worker's right to collect damages from a corporation discriminating against her illegally, based on the 180 loophole.
The court ruled 5-4 that Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at a tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., did not file her lawsuit against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in the timely manner specified by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A jury had originally awarded her more than $3.5 million because it found it "more likely than not" that sex discrimination during her 19-year career led to her being paid substantially less than her male counterparts.

An appeals court reversed, saying the law requires the suit be filed within 180 days "after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred," and Ledbetter couldn't prove discrimination within that time period. She had argued that she was discriminated against throughout her career and each paycheck that was less because of discrimination was a new violation.

The conservative majority of the court disagreed, and upheld the appeals court.

Once again it was Ruth Bader Ginsburg who made the most sense even going so far as to urge Congress to amend the law to correct her extremist colleagues' "parsimonious reading" of it (something Hillary Clinton has already said she will do). "In our view," said Ginsburg for the 4 non-fascist members, "this court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination."

Today's NY Times called Ginsburg's decision vigorous. With the Bush Regime entering the case on behalf of Goodyear and against ordinary Americans, Justice Ginsburg's oral dissent was "an unmistakable sign of anger and the tone of her opinion showed how bitterly she differed with the majority. She asserted that the effects of pay discrimination can be relatively small at first, then become far more serious as subsequent raises are based on the original low pay, and that instances of pay inequities ought to be treated differently from other acts of discrimination. For one thing, she said, pay discrimination is often not uncovered until long after the fact." She pointed out that the court's 5 fascist judges' "opinion 'overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination.' She said that given the secrecy in most workplaces about salaries, many employees would have no idea within 180 days that they had received a lower raise than others."

Ralph Neas of People For the American Way, which led the fight to persuade Schumer, Reid and other tepid Democrats to really try to stop the Alito nomination, summed up today's ruling and put it into perspective.

Today's ruling is just the latest sign of the Court’s rightward lurch following the replacement of moderate conservative Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with ultraconservative Justice Samuel Alito and the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice.
The Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Alito, ruled against a female former employee of Goodyear who claimed she had been subjected to gender-based salary discrimination over many years. Justice Anthony Kennedy joined with the right-wing bloc (as he did in Gonzales v. Carhart) to severely limit the relief available to many workers who fall victim to wage discrimination.
It is often exceptionally difficult for employees to learn about salary disparities and to sue for wage discrimination while continuing to work for a company. By making it more difficult for Americans to recover wages unfairly denied them, and less costly for companies to engage in discrimination against employees, the Court majority displayed its hostility to individual rights and to the laws passed by Congress to protect them.
In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg accused the majority of straying far ‘from interpretation of Title VII with fidelity to the Act's core purpose.’ Having successfully argued so many important sex discrimination cases when she was an attorney, Justice Ginsburg must feel as though she is going back in time with each passing day. And she would be right.
The fulcrum of the Court has shifted rightward from Justice O’Connor to Justice Kennedy. It has become increasingly clear that whenever he aligns with his four ultraconservative peers, the outcome will be destructive. In decision after decision, Alito and Roberts are demonstrating the hostility to crucial rights and protections that the opponents to their confirmation warned about.

I am still standing by DWT practice of not advocating violence-- even against fascists-- and not supporting this 180 days loophole thing. I would like to urge you to remember what I said a few days ago when we asked if you are ready to elect the next Supreme Court (non-violently).


George Miller, Chair of the Education and Labor Committee responded to Justice Ginsburg's called for Congress to address the Bush Court's idiotic decision.
"The Supreme Court’s ruling makes it more difficult for workers to stand up for their basic civil rights in the workplace. A worker undergoing sex, race, or other discrimination in pay is discriminated against with each and every discriminatory paycheck, not just when the company set the worker’s pay. Yet, according to the Supreme Court, if a worker does not file within 180 days of the employer’s decision to set her pay unlawfully, she has to live with that discrimination paycheck after paycheck. This ruling will force Congress to clarify the law’s intention that the ongoing effects of discriminatory decisions are just as unacceptable as the decisions themselves."

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