Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Lasting Bush Damage

Yes, he has destroyed the constitution and made the world hate us, but some damage can be undone with a Democratic president and Congress. This however, can not be undone, the damage to the federal judiciary, with LIFETIME appointements. Check out Leddbetter v. Goodyear, where the Bush-appointed freaks fundamentally changed discrimination law.

This case appears simplistic on its surface because it was effectively decided on procedural grounds. It did not address the substantive question of pay equity. Rather, it dealt ONLY with the procedural aspect of WHEN the statute's 180-day limitation period began to run.

The case was clearly wrongly decided. You basically have 180 days to act after a discriminatory "event." That is reasonable with such discrete events as not getting hired, not being promoted, getting fired, etc. You KNOW when one of those things happens to you. How is anyone supposed to know they have been subjected to pay discrimination? Was she, without reason to suspect a problem, supposed to file interrogatories every six months just to be sure? THAT would make you popular! It basically guts the statute, as it limits any liability for the immediate six months before they got caught.

In addition, I don't think this trend of 5-4 decisions over heated dissents is good for the institutional integrity of the court--or what is left of it.

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