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Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

By The Reverend Published: August 1, 2007


Mrs. Reverend and I watched some of the House debate Monday evening on what is called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The bill was passed almost strictly upon party lines. The president has, in an act of pre-emptive war against equal pay for women, said he would veto the measure. The Decider loves those stem cells and wants to protect them from what he considers abuse of life....but women?.....not so much.

As I was watching the "debate" over the bill in the House I was impressed with the GOP representatives solidarity. Each House GOP member who spoke used the identical talking points and those talking points were, like most all GOP talking points, deceptive.

According to the intent of the bill is this.....

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is intended to close an apparent loophole that, until this recent Supreme Court decision, had never been used in the 33-year history of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The new bill would simply and explicitly state that an employee alleging discrimination may file a grievance within 180 days of the issuance of a paycheck that is impacted in part or in full by a previous decision to discriminate.

Until the Strict Deconstructionists, Roberts and Alito, were put on the bench, this "loophole" had not been fully exploited by those friendly-to-business interests. In their recent ruling against Lilly Ledbetter, the Supremes ruled 5-4 that, essentially, as long as a company could keep discriminatory pay practices secret for 180 days, they were immune from future discrimination charges that might become known later.

By ruling this way, basically on a technicality never interpreted similarly before, these Deconstructionists trampled the INTENT of the Title VII law. The intent was to protect Americans who were being discriminated against and provide an avenue towards relief.

Justice Ginsburg suggested, after the "parsimonious reading of Title VII", that Congress needed to close this "loophole", you know, for any future Deconstructionist wannabes looking for technicalities to excuse discrimination.

So the House passed (GOP members voted 193-2 against)the new bill which Bush promises to veto, which in itself is ugly enough.

However the GOP speeches from the House floor Monday night were each case studies in the art of deception. The GOP members never spoke about the merits of Ledbetter's overt discrimination by Goodyear. Oh, they gave lip service, but hell, Paris Hilton can do that.

One by one, GOP representatives spoke about the dangers of not having "statutes of limitations" and how passing this bill would open the floodgates of new discriminatory claims by those dreaded "trial lawyers". Every commenter argued FOR the technicality with which the Deconstructionists gamed the INTENT of the law. Every GOP'er spoke out FOR business's right to game the system and AGAINST the worker's right to not be discriminated against.

Women take notice. Republicans in the House, by their vote on this bill, clearly demonstrated that a never-meant-to-be-abused, technicality is much more important to them than whether women workers are being discriminated against.

It was as if it had all been scripted, which, of course, it had been.



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